Congratulations to Tiger Woods on winning the Masters. While I’ve barely followed golf, I have to admit I was excited he won. I felt happy for him.
The existence of college sports is confusing. Despite holding the student-athlete moniker, college athletes are often treated like professionals. This past weekend, you maybe watched the Final Four for men’s basketball. It was a professional-level spectacle complete with NBA commentators and played at US Bank Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. The NFL, by the way, happens to be the highest grossing sports league in the United States. The second highest? College football. This statistic speaks to our country’s disregard for players’ health in the face of gigantic profits, sure, but it also shows how commodified college sports is.
A team finally took the plunge: the Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a thirteen-year, $330 million contract, the richest in the history of American sports. With any contract of that gigantic value, a player will struggle to live up to the deal. The Phillies, then, are prioritizing dramatic change over spending efficiency.
Today is Christopher Columbus Day, a symbolic celebration of our country’s lifelong commitment to the erasure of Native Americans without their consent. Two days ago was Stanford football’s Set The Expectation game, a symbolic celebration of football’s commitment to present itself as an upstanding, positive institution while it exploits players’ bodies and in many cases…