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2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture
MK

Max Klein

University of Connecticut
A critical exploration of capitalist colonization through international sport league-player extractions
A critical exploration of capitalist colonization through international sport league-player extractions
On February 16, 2019, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced their plans to bring a professional league to Africa scheduled to begin 2020. The league, entitled the Basketball Africa League (BAL), plans to include a total of 12 teams from Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia. While individuals athletes and select teams will undoubtedly benefit, the details surrounding the benefits provided to African communities at large are murky at best. A similar trend exists in Major League Baseball (MLB) with their academy model in the Dominican Republic. While certain players have been able to reach MLB, most are left without formal education or substantial income for their work. Further, Dominican communities have not received discernable benefits from the existence of these academies. Lastly, within international soccer, there is a widespread trend of African players playing for Western teams. This was notable at the men’s 2018 World Cup, with 15 of the 23 players from the winning French team having roots across Africa. However, as individual players and France received the benefits of winning a World Cup, the various African countries were ignored. This extraction of African and Latin talent across the NBA, MLB, and international soccer is discussed through the Whiteness as property tenant of Critical Race Theory.