Racists Hate the Idea of Paying College Athletes

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Well, I’ll be damned:

Could racial prejudice also affect attitudes toward paying college athletes? There are good reasons to believe that it could.

….To find out whether racial prejudice influences white opinion on paying college athletes, we conducted a survey of opinions on “pay for play” policies using the 2014 CCES. In a statistical analysis that controlled for a host of other influences, we found this: Negative racial views about blacks were the single most important predictor of white opposition to paying college athletes.

….To check our findings’ validity, we also conducted an experiment. Before we asked white respondents whether college athletes should be paid, we showed one group pictures of young black men with stereotypical African American first and last names. We showed another group no pictures at all. As you can see in the figure [on the right], whites who were primed by seeing pictures of young black men were significantly more likely to say they opposed paying college athletes. Support dropped most dramatically among whites who expressed the most resent towards blacks as a group.

Apparently this gap is also visible in ordinary poll results: “In every survey to date, blacks are far more likely to support paying college athletes when compared to whites. For instance, in the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, 53 percent of African Americans backed paying college athletes–more than doubling the support expressed by whites (22 percent).”

I’m basically willing to believe that race and racial animus permeate practically everything of significance in America. But I wouldn’t have guessed this. I’m not sure why, but it just never occurred to me to think of big-time college sports as a “black thing,” even though it obviously is. It just goes to show how deeply our racial sickness infests us.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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