The reason well-compensated NFL players feel sorry for themselves is that race hustlers have sold them a line conflating all work with slavery.
With the NFL brouhaha about kneeling or standing for the flag and the National Anthem continuing to bubble, the usual race hustlers have chimed in to say that the players are slaves and that each player’s team is the equivalent of a plantation.
It is true that there is a superficial relationship between slavery and the modern NFL in that players are “traded,” a label that does have a slight whiff of the plantation about it. The reality, though, is that these men are extremely well-compensated for jobs they voluntarily (indeed, eagerly) take and from which they can walk away at any time (or at least when their contracts expire).
Clearly, the race hustlers hope no one will notice that the voluntary, compensated nature of employment in the NFL is the antithesis of slavery. The core definition of slavery is involuntary servitude — one is forced to labor under the threat of violence, without salary, without choosing the form that labor takes, and without the ability to walk away from the labor.
I understand, though, why the players are making this claim. I long ago formulated a syllogism explaining why an unfortunate number of blacks cling to welfare, even though doing so destroys social mobility and consigns them to an endlessly twilight of poverty. This is the false syllogism that the race hustlers sell:
Blacks were slaves.
Slavery is work.
Therefore, all work is slavery.
A correct syllogism would run along these lines:
Blacks were slaves.
Slavery is involuntary servitude, performed under duress and without pay.
Therefore all blacks who are free to choose their paid employment are not slaves.
Part of me doesn’t feel much sympathy for the NFL’s well-paid prima donnas. And part of me feels tremendous sympathy for them to the extent that race hustlers are determined to force a free people to view themselves as helpless, downtrodden victims.