'Shark Tank' Star Daymond John Calls NCAA Tournament 'Modern-Day Slavery'

'Shark Tank' star Daymond John criticizes the NCAA Tournament for racking in millions, if not billions, without giving the money back to its athletes.

Shark Tank star Daymond John appeared on TMZ Live Friday and criticized the NCAA Tournament, calling it “modern-day slavery.” 

TMZ Live hosts Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere were clearly taken aback by the statement and asked John to elaborate. He brought up the NCAA’s TV deal with CBS and Turner, saying, it was $850 billion in 2021 alone. According to ABC News, the two sides agreed on an extension six years ago that pushed their pact to 2032, with the per year earnings jumping to $1.1 billion by 2025.  

John explained that when you factor in the money made from gambling, merchandise, and alum donations, it only widens the gap between the schools and its athletes, whom he said, “make nothing, zero off of all that,” adding, “I think this is modern-day slavery and they’re just giving them a little bit of a crumb.” 

John acknowledged that the “little bit of a crumb” comes in the form of scholarships and through Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) compensation, but it still isn’t enough. “These players are bringing in billions of dollars and making absolutely zero,” he said. “It is really, I think, what business model do you know that makes billions of dollars and pays their employees zero?” 

John believes the NCAA and the schools will eventually need to be responsible for paying its players.


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