The article makes very interesting points about the racial disparities in our views of paying college athletes. But to a sorta kinda labor lawyer, the most striking sentence is this:
In survey after survey, strong national majorities oppose paying college athletes. In March 2015, for example, an HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll found that 65 percent of Americans do not think college athletes in top men’s football and basketball programs should be paid.
I have an idea: let’s take a poll about whether we want other people who entertain us to be paid. I’ll bet that if actors weren’t paid, Tim and I would not have had to spend $39.98 to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While we’re asking whether we should pay college athletes, let’s also take a vote on whether college coaches should be paid. How about other college employees? Just think how cheap college would be if professors worked for free!
This poll should be dismissed as silly, but apparently asking consumers of entertainment whether the entertainers should be paid is not only a thing but a thing that is taken seriously by the potential payors.