Black Athletes in America

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photoWilliam Rhoden grew up in a segregated neighborhood in Chicago. He played football at a black college. He went on to be a sports columnist at the New York Times.

Along the way, Rhoden saw Mohammed Ali speak out against the Vietnam War. He watched American sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos raise their fists for black power and witnessed baseball's Curt Flood heroic fight for free agency.

Today, Rhoden sees black athletes pulling in seven figure salaries but remaining on the sidelines of an industry built with their sweat and talent. In a provocative new book, he calls today's black athletes "Forty Million Dollar Slaves."

Hear a conversation with William Rhoden about the rise, fall and redemption of black athletes.

--- Quotes from the Show ---

"A 'Forty Million Dollar Slave' is what a white fan called Larry Johnson during a 1999 basketball game."

"[Black athletes] are not being exploited ... but just about everyone in their [professional] lives is white."

"[Today's Black athletes] are willing participants because they have not studied the game field history."


William Rhoden, sportswriter for the New York Times, author of "Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete."

This program aired on August 28, 2006.


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