Rev. Jesse Jackson compared professional NFL players to slaves Monday, saying that athletes have gone, “from picking cotton balls to picking footballs and basketballs without freedom.”
On Fox Sports’ “Undisputed,” Jackson referenced Muhammed Ali, saying, “When he changed his name, took a religious position against the war, they took his title, saying ‘You can have a title but not a championship. I won that.'”
“And in many ways it is oppressive. To go from picking cotton balls to picking up footballs and basketballs without freedom is not very much progress,” the civil rights activist stated.
Jackson continued, “What strikes me in football, the reason I have to stand up–when the president says ‘fire them’ and calls them sons of bitches, they are sons of mothers who produce champions. They’re not sons of bitches, they’re sons of mothers who produce champions. He comes out strong and the president comes out strong. Unlike basketball or baseball, there are no guaranteed contracts. So you stand but don’t play tomorrow, that’s workplace harassment. That’s illegal.”