John Oliver Takes Down NCAA for Turning March Madness into The Hunger Games
John Oliver Takes Down NCAA's March Madness
Last June, John Oliver previewed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by delivering an epic analogy that compared FIFA to organized religion. Now, with March Madness starting this week, Oliver has taken on another behemoth of the sports world: the NCAA, which he equated with “illegal sweatshops” and The Hunger Games.
Oliver’s main beef with the NCAA is the way that it has commercialized every available aspect of college sports — down to getting a ladder company to sponsor the moment the winning college basketball team cuts down the net — yet still refuses to even consider compensating players. And often, players seem to really need the help.
“That’s insane,” he said of one player who admitted he goes to bed hungry some nights. “Hunger Games should take place annually in a dystopian future, not every March sponsored by Coca-Cola on CBS.”
For more than 20 minutes, Oliver laid out why the NCAA’s supposedly pious policy of paying student athletes with nothing more than an education makes no sense, especially when the organization goes on to exploit them even after they leave the school in products like hyper-“authentic” video games. The host ended the segment with a preview of a new, even more “authentic” game: “March Sadness ’05.”
Watch video below, via HBO:
[Photo via screengrab]
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