With the massive amount of money college sports generate, it's hard to imagine college athletes not getting a cent while their universities and the NCAA get rich. Unfortunately, that's how it is. And the Washington Post reports that the opposition to paying college players likely stems from racism.
While college athletes receive college scholarships that cover their tuition, room and board, that's not really enough when you consider that the time they spend playing sports is equivalent to a full time job, and that the NCAA and the universities are making millions and millions of dollars. But this lack of compensation in comparison to what the sports companies and colleges receive is not at all new in the college sports world, nor that surprising. According to Taylor Branch from the Atlantic, “Big-time college sports are fully commercialized. Billions of dollars flow through them each year. The NCAA makes money, and enables universities and corporations to make money, from the unpaid labor of young athletes.”
Though many believe that paying the college athletes could have a negative effect on the young, inexperienced players, there are many that believe that the athletes should be properly compensated for the money they put in the organization and universities’ pockets—And it seems that those opinions are divided by race.
The Washington Post reports that blacks are more likely than whites to favor college athletes being paid. In a 2014 NCAA report, black players made up the majority of football and basketball teams, which are two of the most popular national sports. Therefore, it could be inferred that whites' disapproval of paying college athletes could be due to their racist bias towards the black community. In a survey, the Washington Post found that “In a statistical analysis that controlled for a host of other influences, we found this: Negative racial views about blacks were the single most important predictor of white opposition to paying college athletes.”
In another experiment, the Washington Post divided white participants into two groups, where one was shown pictures of black players with stereotypical black names and the other was shown none. When asked whether players should be paid, the group shown the black players were more likely say college athletes shouldn't be paid.
While it was pretty clear already that college sports need to be revamped, sports organizations and universities need to look harder and understand just how racial prejudices might be negatively affecting the world of athletics before sending players out into the arena of professional sports.