Great blog posts this past week, too. Keep up the good work!
TrackBack URL: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/166823
Anybody whom has ever watched sports has heard the cliché "Oh this community has relied around this team". It’s usually a team that’s community has gone through some hardship. When the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010 it seems like all we heard was "oh this community just rallied around this team". Another example is when the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl after 9/11. It just seems like these specific examples are just blown out of proportion by the media. Was America better just because the Patriots won the Super Bowl? Was New Orleans a better community after the Saints won the "big dance"? Do communities actually become more "better" because their sports team wins?
I really don't understand Oates' argument. From what I read, he argues that black men are put on display and their bodies are being "sold" as commodity in sports. Is he trying to compare the situation of black athletes to those who have gone through slavery in the past? Isn't this an unfair comparison? I mean, slaves had NO CHOICE on whether or not they wanted to be put on display and sold. However, these athletes do. Are we suppose to sympathize with athletes for having to strip down to their shorts and stand in front of white men? Also, I don't understand what the deal is with Oates' reasoning on homo-eroticism in sports, specifically within the NFL. Can't men appreciate the bodies of other men without erotically objectifying it? Women can most definitely do this so I don't understand why men can't.
The argument at the beginning of "Selling Difference in the Sports Marketplace" is a tough one. Comparing the trading of NFL players to the slave trade makes perfect sense to me. However it also doesn't considering the two events were astronomically different. So theres that aspect. But while reading I kind of had to say "ouch" to myself. If someone's going to use the slave trade as a base for comparison, the writer should make damn sure the idea their comparing it to is a little closer to what happened in the slave trade. Yes? Im not saying keep your hands off comparisons that are based off of horrible wrongdoings, but the NFL is far from the slave trade. Sometimes, before reading this, I always kind of considered the trading of NFL players as the herding around a bunch of lumbering cattle. However that lacks the impact of comparison as opposed to the one given by Oates. While these players are being "bought, sold and possessed", as Oates eludes to, I feel like he may be forgetting that these players are submitting themselves to this for the sake of millions and millions of dollars. Again, yes?
Oates argument to me is absolutely absurd. Slave trade and NFL players being traded are two vastly different situations. You cannot compare slaves to multi-million dollar athletes. At any point a player can choose to retire and end his career. Isn't part of any business to exchange assets? Just because assets being traded in sports are players does that make it a morally wrong occurrence?
I had absolutely no idea that players are made to publicly get measurements of both their height and weight in preparation for the draft. What I kept saying to myself is “What does this have to do with how they play football?” It seems to be an irrelevant process so that, as one manager said, they can “see what we’re buying”. First of all this manager could have easily said “see who we are buying”, and second wouldn’t it be more effective if they watched video of this player in action? Why has this process become so prevalent and the norm in the drafting players? Is this extensive process of parading these athletes around in their underwear really necessary or is this saying something else about power relations between athletes and those who want them?
Reactions from some of the players themselves sound stupid to me.Why would running back Travis Stephens say that "It was weird man,like a meat market" when he's voluntarily doing it? Even the confession from quarterback Mike Elkins that "I felt like a prize bull at a county fair",does not give me the relevance of Oates argument.Nobody forced these players to engage into the "strange rituals" of the NFL.If I don't like what someone says I should do,Why blame others for the potentially problematic realities or unfavorable disclosures that may result from my willing acquiesce? I don't buy it at all reading Oates' blaming argument that the NFL draft process affirms inter-male dominance based on a hierarchy of race.It has nothing to do with race here because there are other white males who may be experiencing the same process.If they like it,they keep doing it.If they dislike it,they will quit.The measurement process may be part of the criteria for selection.Like any other competition,if you want to participate,even though you know that the selection criteria may be too extreme,you either comply and be a part,or refuse and not be a part,Period.
i feel like why is this author criticizing a sport? are they not for peoples entertainment, like and ipod, or a videogame i was an athlete that had my weight publicly announced in my player bio and when being recruited this was something that was know would happen from the beginning the player comments about feeling like a commodity is something they all should have known be for they started. i am wandering why this may not be prevalent? are the athletes just making a fuss or is it they really do not know what is going to happen to them when they become professional athletes
I think the author is an idiot. No because he is making this assumption of SLave trade and the NFL being similar but because he thinks it is modern day slavery. Players are actually being compensated for their actions instead of being tortured for them. They are getting multimillion dollars per season and slaves were dying left and right. I feel like the draft is sad excuse to call it slavery
What does Oates really want to do about this situation? I do kind of agree that he's just giving an oppositional reading to this, but what's his initial goal? Is he trying to get rid of the draft all together or change it? I don't see it as to being the same as slavery. How else could this draft take place differently? In the end, everyone is making money and owns themselves.
After reading Oates article I have to admit I was displeased. With any profession you must have a resume. Let's say someone is going into a Journalism career. They must "sell" themselves by giving examples of their work. They must show their credentials if they wish to get the job they want. When athletes wish to become professional their resume and credentials is their body. I don't really see how this should be an issue or problem. Any job applicant is competing to be the best. So, it is necessary for an athlete to show themselves and to prove their potential to grow. Any company is going to want an employee who is going to bring in the most revenue and within the sports industry the most athletically competent person is most likely going to bring that. Is this just another topic for people to complain about? Why is this an issue? Is it because you're selling your body(and mind) and not just your mind like in a typical job? Would this mean that all of us are slaves to our employers? What a terrible comparison.
The author was talking the NFL but I was wondering what the author would say about those football movies, such as Remember the Titans, The Blind Side, The express, etc.?
In my opinion, those football movies don't have "homoerotic" feel towards the movies and it doesn't emphasis on power and desire. Would the author still argue that it's homoerotic? (For sure the movies listed above deal with class and/or race)
I understand some of the author's arguments, but I don't think the athletes have that big of a problem with being "put on display" otherwise they wouldn't do it. If someone is applying to be a CEO of a company obviously they are going to be put through the wringer to make sure they qualify. It's the same thing in the NFL. These men have to be in top condition to play football. Everyone knows that the NFL is mostly African American men but is it fair to say "What happened to the white athlete?" Hockey is a mostly white sport; why don't we hear about that?
As I read this article so many things pop into my mind, but I have a hard time thinking about a question. I totally get what the Author is saying, but I disagree with her. First slaves yes were owned, but they never received MILLIONS of dollars and that can lead to future jobs like advertisements. These players choose to play the sport, they are not forced to participate in these sports. I also am wondering did she include the combine in which many of the prospect football players participate? The players are watched by thousands of people while wearing next to nothing. Do players think anything of this or have they tried to change who their bodies are represented?
Reading Oates' article, he strictly focuses on Football, an American sport (National Football League). Can you think of other sports in other countries, where people could have the same thoughts/views?
I think that the argument Oates is making regarding the NFL draft comparing to slavery trades in the past is really obnoxious. I mean, I guess I didn't realize that the potential NFL players have to publicly display their bodies and body measurements but I still think that this is reading too much into it. I don't understand how a black man's body image matters to his football skills and to the team that may draft him. I know that measurements might make a difference as to how well a player but how they look is another thing. I'm wondering if teams actually draft their players based on looks and whether they do this to appeal to more fans? I will admit that I have followed certain sports teams before because I thought one of the players was attractive so it isn't that far off. But is this really in the minds of the NFL teams when they draft? I'm sure they look at a players ability first but do they then contemplate and make decisions based on how a player looks?
This page contains a single entry by Melody published on November 8, 2011 4:47 PM.
Some follow-up to class today was the previous entry in this blog.
Sports Have A Place in our Society is the next entry in this blog.
Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.