Holley asked Muhammad to expound on Nation Of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan’s 2016 Saviours’ Day message comparing basketball courts to plantations.
“He goes on to say the evaluation process that happens in sports – you know, owners, general managers, they look at players [and say], ‘Oh this one is strong, this one is swift.’ They poke and prod. It’s akin to what they used to do to us on the slavery block,” Holley said. “So brother Nuri, help me. How can sports be akin to slavery if our athletes make hundreds of millions of dollars?”
In response, Muhammad referenced William C. Rhoden’s book “Forty Million Dollar Slaves” – which was published in 2006.
“In the book, he [Rhoden] shows there is a broad gap between money in your pocket and wisdom inside of your mind,” Muhammad said. “And slavery by definition is one that has voluntarily submitted to a so-called superior power and has lost their power of resistance. So when you look at the math, by definition slavery has nothing to do with how much you have in the bank account. You can be a rich slave or a poor slave, you can still be a slave.”
A passionate advocate for youth, Muhammad went on to note that more than 1 million Black boys are playing basketball in America with hopes of reaching the NBA.
“Out of that 1 million, only 35,000 of them will even go to college and play basketball; and out of that 35,000 only seven of them will be able to secure a starting job in the NBA,” Muhammad said. “So you got 1 million Black boys competing for 7 full-time jobs. I don’t know about you but that sounds like bad math to me.”
According to Muhammad, Farrakhan was saying athletes have a higher purpose than just playing sports.
“What the Minister was telling us in 2016, and of course in many of his messages, is that God doesn’t create hoopers,” Muhammad explained. “Anybody that you see proficient in a sport, that is just the result of the natural willpower, focus, fight, drive and discipline that they have built in them or that they were trained to acquire, but they are born to be something bigger than that.”
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin
Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?
“So whatever you see LeBron doing on the court, he can do better than that in a different field. Whatever you see Ezekiel Elliott doing on the football field, he can do even more in the engineering field or the field of chemistry,” Muhammad added. “So the minister is telling us to make sure that when we invest our energy, do something for nation-building.”
Muhammad also said that many people still use the “old ancient, negro civil rights template” when it comes to doing community service and feel that providing one-time resources is enough. He challenged the Black community to embrace “a new definition.”
“The minister was trying to angle our minds as servants of the people,” Muhammad elaborated. “Don’t go out there and think that you did something because you gave somebody a blanket or you gave somebody a turkey dinner. Do something that can empower them that they can get up out of their condition and do for self.”