Dan Zaksheske of OutKick tackled this documentary series titled "Skin in the Game" in an Oct. 6 piece. The five-episode series, whose premier episode aired on Sept. 20, is available on the ESPN+ streaming platform. "Skin in the Game" also features race scholar Ibram X. Kendi, who hosts the documentary.
"The series delves into and challenges racism in the sports world," a press release from ESPN said of the five-part documentary. "[It] will reveal how pervasive racism is in sports, while challenging the thoughts and systems of various governing bodies."
For the first episode, Kendi was joined by two guests in the persons of sports journalist Howard Bryant and track and field athlete Gwendolyn Berry. The latter claimed that athletic contracts are "the new slave chains" during her appearance.
"Athletes are literally the new slaves. Because we need this. Our family [and] our friends depend on this contract to eat," Berry told Bryant and Kendi. The two others concurred with her remarks.
Zaksheske then put in his two cents on Berry's "absurd comparisons."
"I'm not a historian, but I don't believe slave chains came with multi-million dollar deals, fame and public status," he remarked. "I also don't believe that slaves had a choice on whether or not to accept those chains, whereas athletes don't have to sign multi-million dollar deals. I could be wrong; someone can correct me if I am mistaken."
The OutKick writer then elaborated on why the claims put forward in "Skin in the Game" are beyond absurd.
First, athletes are not required to sign contracts or play sports at all. "That's how America works. They are free to choose other lines of work that don't require signing contracts," Zaksheske said.
Second, "almost all Americans feed their families … on normal jobs," with the option to do so "readily available." He continued: "Most normal jobs don’t come with six-, seven- or eight-figure signing bonuses. I suspect that professional athletes choose this profession based on income potential – again, the key word being 'choose.'"
Third, Zaksheske pointed out Berry's complaint about athletes losing money if they break any stipulation in the contracts they signed.
"Yes, that is how contracts work – all contracts, even the ones non-Black people sign. Speaking of which, non-Black athletes also sign contracts to play professional sports. So, even if her point were true – which it isn't – how are contracts racist?"
The episode also touched on the "activism" espoused by Black athletes, such as Berry herself and football player Colin Kaepernick. Berry gained attention when she raised her fist after winning the gold medal while "The Star-Spangled Banner" was playing during the 2019 Pan American Games. Meanwhile, Kaepernick took to kneeling when the national anthem was played to allegedly protest "systemic racism." (Related: #BoycottNike: Nike signs cop-hating, America-bashing Colin Kaepernick; customers express mass outrage.)
"There is no comparison between slavery and professional athletes, full-stop," wrote Zaksheske. "But 'activists' need something to fight against. If that something doesn't exist, they create it."
Berry later continued in the episode that athletes like her have "so much political power it's ridiculous" – something Zaksheske took issue with. "Well, that sure flies in the face of her slavery point. Again, I'm not a historian – but I don't think slaves sat around talking about their 'political power.'"
Watch this video about Ibram X. Kendi, the host of "Skin in the Game," claiming that the Republican Party is the "party of White supremacy."
This video is from THE LIGHT BULB INITIATIVE channel on Brighteon.com.