Today’s quote comes to us from Michael Wilbon, a commentator, and co-host of a show, on ESPN.
Mr. Wilbon – not surprisingly, given the political bent at ESPN – objects to Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones saying that he feels NFL players who do not stand for the National Anthem should not play. His exact quote:
“And the word that comes to my mind―and I don’t care who doesn’t like me using it―is plantation. “The players are here to serve me, and they will do what I want. No matter how much I pay them, they are not equal to me. That’s what this says to me and mine.”
Interesting. And true – though not the way Wilbon mean it.
OF COURSE football owners and players are not equal. Owners own the team, players play the game. Owners pay players money, for which they are expected to do what the owner – either directly or through the coaching staff he is also paying – wants them to.
This has nothing to do with race. This has everything to do with who owners are and who players are, regardless of their race.
A player – whether Black or White – does not have the “right” to do whatever he wants on the football field any more than any other employee has that right in any other business.
A player – whether Black or Wite – does not have the right to decide when he is in or out of the game. A player – whether Black or White – does not have the right to decide what games he will and won’t play in. Or to wear a different uniform than the one issued for his team. Or to run a different play than what the quarterback calls.
A player – whether Black or White – is an EMPLOYEE working for an EMPLOYER. And when he is on the field, he is expected to do what his employer asks of him. Just like every other business.
Suppose a business executive’s administrative assistant decides to come in two hours late each morning because he/she wants to speak at a political meeting held at that time down the block. The administrative assistant is going to be fired – not because he/she is being denied freedom of speech, but because the work he/she is paid to do is not getting done.
You want to advocate? Petition? You have that right. On your own time. But if the person you have agreed to work for establishes the work conditions, you are expected to abide by them when you are at work. Don’t do so, and suffer the consequences.
That is every bit as true out of football as in. It is every bit as true whether you are Black, White, or any other color.
Some people see everything in racial terms, even when race is not the point. Apparently Michael Wilbon is one of them. He wins Quote Of The Day “honors” for bringing this home so clearly.
Too bad for him. And too bad for his employer.
What is going on at ESPN anyway?