The Slatest

ESPN Aired a Segment in Which White Buyers Purchased Black Football Players From an Auctioneer

Shots from the segment.

Photo illustration by Slate. Screenshots via ESPN.

“Fantasy sports” such as fantasy football involve “team owners” (regular fans) “drafting” players (selecting them for their fantasy teams, which subsequently compete against other fantasy teams using the players’ statistics) before every season. Sometimes these “drafts” are done in an auction style in which each “owner” gets a fixed amount of money to use to bid on individual players.

That’s the normal part. The not-normal part is setting up an auction draft in such a way as to emphasize that it involves a group of white men “buying” a black man from an actual auctioneer, and then airing the results on television, as ESPN did in a segment on Monday:

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Did no one involved in conceiving, filming, producing, or airing this so much as see Roots or Get Out? Bad idea jeans!

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