The Proletariat Athletes

Michigan Stadium brings in over a hundred thousand spectators every game, generating millions in revenue (from wikimedia.org).

Michigan Stadium brings in over a hundred thousand spectators every game, generating millions in revenue (from wikimedia.org).

Saturday mornings in the fall, millions of people flock to collegiate football stadiums across the United States to watch their favorite teams compete. This is an American tradition which benefits the spectators, players, university staff, and sponsors. Children dream of one day being able to run onto he field in front of a crowd of thousands as student-athletes. These student-athletes, who represent the university in their respective sports, play on a level most could never dream of being on, which generates profit for the university. Here lies a difference between collegiate sports and high school sports, collegiate athletics generate large profits for universities in contrast to menial amounts for high schools. Where does this money go? Well it goes to the university and sponsors, not the players. Applying the viewpoints of Karl Marx, one could argue the athletes are much like the proletariat, while the university and patrons are the bourgeoisie. These two groups would therefore be in a class struggle.  Continue reading

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Morals vs. Capitalists

While reading Marx and Engels Manifesto of the Communist Party, I was able to gain a really good sense of their idea of society’s class system, and where it stems from. I was also able to learn and understand the different goals of a capitalist and what their workers expectations are as well. I personally cannot imagine living in a capitalist economy. If I had to, I don’t think I would be able to survive, knowing that it’s all about the capitalist’s profit and about how cheap they can get someone to work. I feel as though that would go against America’s morals, although we may not have many strong ones, I must say that the fact we don’t have this type of economy shows that someone was thinking of the majority rather than just themselves or a small group of people.

Marx and Engels

Marx and Engels

The whole price theorem for the worker and price theorem for the capitalist put me at a great disposition. The fact that the reproduction of the worker has no value to the capitalist doesn’t sit well with me at all. Yes i know gaining a profit at anything you invest in is something you aim for and one of the main reasons you invest in something, but I feel like it shouldn’t be the main thing you should be concerned about. I feel like the happiness and well being of your employees should be your first priority because when it comes to making you money, they are the ones representing you and doing the work you need to be done to actually make a profit. Therefore, to make sure you make the best and most honest profit, your employees well being and ability to reproduce should be important in maintaining your credibility and relationship with not only our employees, but also society in general. If word gets out that your best interest isn’t your employees or you don’t care about them and treat them any sort of way. they will end up quitting and no one will want to work for you.

Capitalism

Capitalism

That’s just how I feel. I know not everyone thinks that way and not everyone cares about the lives and well being of their employees as long as their work gets done, but I feel like you can’t expect the best if you don’t give the best or put forth your best and I feel like that’s where Marx and Engels went wrong in their theory of capitalism and social classes in general. I felt like they were a bit too negative in their thinking of other individuals. I could be wrong, maybe I’m too naive and too nice about how I think people actually think or the morals they have.

Throwing Like a Girl… Pt. II

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Mo’ne Davis on the cover of Sports Illustated

One of the biggest sport stories over the summer was the emergence of a 13 year-old girl from Philadelphia, Mo’ne Davis, who not only became the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series, but absolutely dominated boys her age while on the mound. While reading up on her I couldn’t help but think of our discussion of Throwing Like a Girl? and the discrimination and lack of opportunities women face when it comes to sports and sexism.

What Mo’ne did for girls of her age, younger, and even older is a step in the right direction. A great discussion for the impact that Mo’ne had on the sports world is provided in this discussion of her story on ESPN. 

In the discussion of Throwing Like a Girl? we talked about the institutional barriers to participation which Women face. Part of this is the assumption that women are inferior, or cannot keep up with men when it comes to athletics. What Mo’ne did was to shatter this generalization by not only keeping up with the boys, but dominating them. She will be able to serve as an inspiration and an example for girls not only her age and younger, but for really all of society as a model of progress when it comes to equality.

Mo’ne may be a very modern example of a women breaking institutional barriers in the realm of sports, but there is no shortage of this in the past. One of the most famous examples of this is from a tennis match in 1973 called the “Battle of the Sexes” which pitted Billie Jean King against Bobby Riggs. In a match where King was thought to have had no chance beat Riggs just based on the mere fact that she was a woman, she came out on the winning side with a match score of 6–4, 6–3, 6–3.

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Billie Jean King

This was one of the earlier examples of women participating in men’s sports and not only keeping up to par with them, but beating them. She shocked what many considered back then a culture very much defined by the typical institutional barriers when it came to women. Not only in sports, but in society in general with the belief that they were physically and mentally weaker than men, and that trying to compete and keep up with them was just impossible.

In conclusion, these two stories of women achieving success in the sports world when facing the opposite gender, are great examples of how women can break the institutional barriers, which society places upon them when it comes to sports. These two women can serve as an example and inspiration for not only other women, but for society as a whole with it being a step in the right direction for the breaking down of these barriers.