How Draymond Green’s Largesse, and the NLRB’s Cowardice, Fail the College Black Athlete

Though I am a die-hard Michigan fan, I am a big believer in Tom Izzo at Michigan State. And I am a huge fan of Draymond Green, a Saginaw native, now of the Golden State Warriors, who has great grit, and is completely down-to-earth. But I’m disappointed in Draymond, who has just announced that he will be donating $3.1 million to MSU athletics. This is not unlike the sharecropper, having left the property some years earlier, where he toiled with no guarantee, no wage, and no accumulated assets, walking back down the road to announce to his former landowner/lessor that he would want to give him, gratis, some of the millions which he has accumulated since he last departed. Draymond does not recognize that he has already, through the course of his four years of service at MSU, donated millions to that school.

But here’s how Draymond’s good-hearted, misguided charitable instincts are related to the NLRB’s recent stunning, cowardly refusal to ‘exercise jurisdiction’ regarding the Northwestern football player’s unionizing efforts. They both reveal the central defect in the entire college football business model: in terms of sector-based bargaining and power, the players are, once again, bereft: left with not just no power, but no basis for aggregating as a sector, or group, to advance and protect their interests. So the ‘little guy’ at the heart of the entire college sports business model continues to grovel at the feet of the new academic/aristocrats who rule the business.

Draymond should take his money, and gather with other wealthy (primarily black) athlete-celebrities, to donate to a non-profit fund which will be used to allow current college athletes to get access to legal counsel which will protect their interests.  (Some of the black Michigan sports giants should join in to found this non-profit: Jalen Rose, Magic, Jeter, Chris Webber, etc. )

About brewonsouthu

lawyer, with interest in college sports and NCAA oversight and decisions, and sports generally.
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2 Responses to How Draymond Green’s Largesse, and the NLRB’s Cowardice, Fail the College Black Athlete

  1. Good points but is it possible Draymond will receive payments in exchange for his gift? As I understand it, some major gifts behave like annuities. In this case, he may be making a smart financial decision. I doubt this but thought I would point it out.

    • brewonsouthu says:

      This is a good point: he’ll get a good solid charitable deduction for making the donationk — which is fine. But a major problem with college athletics is that the college players have no institution which will work on their behalf to protect their rights. Green could just as easily – and with just as much tax benefit — donate to a not-for-profit dedicated to providing college players with badly needed legal advice

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