Publication Date

Summer 8-10-2022

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


The Black body has gone through different forms of exploitation in the United States in the centuries since the first enslaved Africans were brought to this land. Although chattel slavery has long been “abolished,” it has taken a new form in college athletics. While most scholarship college football and basketball players are Black and produce millions of dollars of revenue for large and small universities, the players are not compensated and did not see a dime of it come to them. When I say that college athletics is a modern form of slavery, one might find that statement confusing because college athletes certainly do not go through all of the trials and tribulations that enslaved Black people went through in the American South. Yet, there are many horrifying parallels between the two systems, and I examined these parallels with my study. This was done through one-on-one interviews with current and former student-athletes, administrators who work in athletic departments, and journalists covering college sports. Despite the legislation that was passed by the NCAA, which allows college athletes to profit off of their Name, Image, and Likeness (N.I.L.), we still witness a system that enables college athletes to be exploited for billions of dollars.