Slavery is when human beings are owned by other human beings, used and often abused like animals, and taken advantage of all in pursuit of profit, either financially or for power. Slaves rarely were able to escape, and those who did often had to remain in hiding or in fear for their entire lives. Slaves who could not escape were doomed to toil, and frequently their children and grandchildren suffered the same fate.
According to MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, the National Basketball Association is just like this.
Never mind that NBA players make millions of dollars every year. Never mind that, from playing in a single game, many NBA players make more than the average person makes in a year. Never mind that NBA players chose their career path and can leave whenever they want. Never mind that players who leave the NBA can do so of their own volition and if they do, they do not have to live in fear or hiding. Never mind that players aren't beaten by owners if they don't play well. Nope, the NBA is precisely like slavery!
Responding to statements made by owner Mark Cuban, Harris-Perry summarized it on her show sloppily: “Wealthy owners? Check. Profit made from the sale of black bodies? Check. Racial angst? Check.” She then stated that reparations would be the next topic on her show, alluding to arguments in favor of giving descendants of slaves some form of recompense.
The MSNBC hosts has been embroiled in controversy before, often for her racially insensitive remarks. Just a few months ago Harris-Perry made fun of Mitt Romney for having a black grandchild.
Harris-Perry's segment also featured Mark Cuban talking frankly about prejudices that he has, not based on race, but more on context.
You can watch excerpts from the segment below: