Assad Meymandi: Athletes treated like slaves

January 4, 2014 

The news media report slavery in India, Africa, Pakistan and other parts of the world. I submit that we practice slavery in America.

I am referring to student-athletes who can barely read and write. They work like slaves to generate a product with sales in the billions of dollars yet they get punished for accepting any gift from fans. The unfairness is accentuated by the practice of awarding coaches with less than mediocre records with contract extensions and whopping raises, sending their annual compensation into millions.

This is a repetition of 17th and 18th century slavery and the epitome of hypocrisy and unfairness. The entire system is unethical. It should be illegal and ought to be banned.

One reasonable solution is to pay the student-athlete a salary and pay teachers to tutor them and bring up their academic standing, not with phony non-existing classes but with real teaching, while they play their sport. Also, cut the exorbitant salaries of the coaches and give it to our school teachers who barely make ends meet.

Assad Meymandi

Adjunct professor of psychiatry, UNC School of Medicine at Chapel Hill

Raleigh

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