Author: Victor Ochieng
HBO is set to debut a documentary from Lebron James titled “Student Athlete”. The documentary is focused on bringing to light the plight of many college athletes, who are not paid for their contribution in building the billion-dollar college basketball industry. The documentary will come from Lebron James, Steve Stoute’s United Masters and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment.
Shadow and Act earlier reported the exploitation, stating that, “In July 2017, news reports confirmed the Big Ten conference had signed an agreement with three television partners for a six-year, $2.64 billion rights deal to carry primarily football and men’s basketball conference competition, and other conferences have also made similar deals and have partnered with media companies to create standalone conference network channels, all of which are making money off the backs of the players.”
Stoute, who’s involved in the idea of the documentary alongside James, said NCAA was so blinded by what they were getting that they are “turning student athletes into full-time employees.” The mother of Wendell Carter Jr. – a former Duke University player, chose not to shy away from giving her opinion towards NCAA college basketball system. She compared the system to the prison system and slavery.
And ahead of the documentary, a press release about it stated, “Unpaid college athletes generate billions of dollars for their institutions every year. Student Athlete unveils the exploitative world of high-revenue college sports through the stories of four young men at different stages of their athletic careers, as well as a coach-turned-advocate and a whistle-blowing shoe rep that exposes the money trail. From high-school recruiting to post-graduation, the usefulness of athletes is tied to their ability to produce revenue. Once they can no longer do that, their participation in sport ends – often abruptly – with virtually nothing to show for their contributions. An audited financial disclosure from the NCAA in March 2018 revealed the association had close to $1.1 billion in revenue during 2017, a total that was unimaginable in 1964, when the NCAA coined the term ‘student athlete.”
The documentary features the shattered dreams of ‘student athletes’ in a billion-dollar industry that cashes in on their talents. Many are hoping that this documentary will make a positive impact on the lives of those victimized by this exploitation.
“This documentary is incredibly important as it debunks the myth that student athletes are being fairly compensated by receiving scholarships and a valuable education. In fact, the demands put on these students by this oppressive system make it impossible for them to get the education they deserve. The time is now to end this false narrative and reveal the truth of this exploitation,” Stoute said.
Carter also talked of how important the documentary was in changing the state of things. He termed the exploitation as “denial of basic human rights for these student athletes.”
Hopefully, the unpaid student athletes will gain from the documentary which will act as a voice to their plight. The Sports documentary will debut on the 2nd of October at 10pm ET.