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NCAA cites 13th Amendment slavery loophole when arguing why they shouldn’t pay student athletes

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When arguing why student athletes aren’t legally entitled to compensation, the National Collegiate Athletic Association cited a court case that relied on a loophole in the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution that allows legal unpaid labor in the case of imprisonment.

The Intercept’s Shaun King reported on the NCAA’s legal justification for refusing to pay the athletes who propel the multi-billion dollar college athletics industry. The organization is using the early Vanskike v. Peters, in which a federal appeals court ruled in favor of not paying an inmate based on the 13th Amendment.

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“Daniel Vanskike was a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, and Howard Peters was the Director of the state Department of Corrections,” King wrote. “In 1992, Vanskike and his attorneys argued that as a prisoner he should be paid a federal minimum wage for his work. The court, in its decision, cited the 13th Amendment and rejected the claim.”

Though the 13th Amendment “is commonly hailed as the law that finally ended slavery in America,” it has one essential caveat — that “involuntary servitude” is legal “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Many argue that the amendment allows for imprisonment to serve as a substitute for enslavement, leading to institutions such as what anti-racists call the “school-to-prison pipeline” and laws passively intended to punish African-Americans.

The NCAA, King continued, has already won two other lawsuits that cited Vanskike v. Peters.

“Comparing athletes to prisoners is contemptible,” attorneys for former Villanova wide receiver Lawrence “Poppy” Livers wrote in their rebuttal to the NCAA’s motion.

The use of the Vanskike precedent “is not only legally frivolous, but also deeply offensive to all Scholarship Athletes – and particularly to African-Americans,” the rebuttal noted.

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You can read Livers’ entire response to the NCAA’s motion below via the Intercept.


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Louisiana judge admits to exchanging racist texts with cop boyfriend about courtroom employees

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Appearing on a local TV station on Sunday, a district court judge in Assumption Parrish in Louisiana owned up to racist comments she made about African-American employees in her courtroom that she texted to her then-police officer boyfriend.

According to WAFB, Judge Jessie LeBlanc initially denied using the N-word about a black sheriff’s deputy and a black law clerk in her district when texting with former chief deputy, Capt. Bruce Prejean, with whom she was involved while both were married.

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Julian Assange lawyer tells court: After pardon fell through, Trump administration resorted to ‘extortion’

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An attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the Trump administration of extortion in a London court on Monday.

The WikiLeaks attorney appeared at Woolwich Crown Court along with U.S. prosecutors, who argued that Assange should be extradited the United States, where he faces 18 charges and up to 175 years in jail.

Attorneys for Assange previously told the court that former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) tried to broker a pardon deal between the White House and Assange if he would agree to say that Russia was not the source of hacked Democratic Party emails.

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Black teens shocked after basketball announcer calls their names ‘disgusting’

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A longtime announcer at high-school basketball games in Oklahoma sparked outrage last week when he said that black players on the Crooked Oak High School lady's basketball team had "disgusting" names.

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In a video taken at the game, the announcer can be heard saying, "The Crooked Oak Lady Ruff Necks, now their names are pretty disgusting."

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