The power of a football boycott
Inside Higher Ed - 11/11/2015
It’s the economic impact players have on a university — whether at a large football program like Missouri or a smaller institution, like Grambling State — that can empower athletes to take a stand, said Dan Lebowitz, executive director of Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. If there was any doubt among players of this fact, the Missouri boycott could help change that, he said.
“This could have massive implications for college sports, especially those in the major five conferences,” Lebowitz said. “I think you’re going to really start seeing athletes understand the power this system has given them because of the economics now involved.”
And that won’t apply only to social justice issues. The fact that a university stands to lose so much money when athletes decide not to play a game raises questions about their roles as students, Lebowitz said.
“I think it could regalvanize the movement for paying athletes,” he said. “I think you’re going to start seeing a new way of looking at the student-athlete structure and whether or not athletes are in large respect employees that deserve to be paid. It’s hard to argue they’re not when they have this kind of economic power.”