Column: Lampkin, and people who compare NFL combine to slavery, need a history lesson

FORT WORTH, Texas -- This week, Jerry Jones defended the NFL's combine against comparisons to slavery, TCU center Eddie Lampkin's mom made allegations that TCU coach Jamie Dixon talks like a racist, and former Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin compared his situation to lynching.

That's a helluva week.

A few things no one should ever make a comparison to:

1. Slavery.

2. Rape.

3. Holocaust/genocide.

If you want to add lynching into this ring of human atrocity, go ahead.

To make any comparisons to these acts is offensive to the actual people who suffered, and died, because of them.

Because there is nothing like slavery but slavery. There is nothing like rape but rape. There is nothing like genocide but genocide. There is nothing like a lynching but a lynching.

So, people, stop comparing anything to these things other than these things.

-- 1. The NFL combine is a meat market, not a slave auction.

At the combine in Indianapolis, Jones defended the NFL's annual player evaluation process that has been ripped by members of the media for years; most recently NFL Player's Association executive Troy Vincent compared it a slave auction.

At the combine players lift weights, run in their underwear, answer questions and basically go about a weird job interview process. Because playing pro football is a weird job.

It's a job. It ain't slavery.

Learn about a real slave, and see how that compares to that of an NFL player, or NFL hopeful.

Former Fort Worth resident William M. Adams was born a slave and lived on the James Davis plantation in San Jacinto County, Texas.

Before his death, Adams was interviewed for the "Project Gutenberg EBook of Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves."

Among other things about his life as a slave he said, and the following is a verbatim quote from the book, "De other slaves lived in log cabins back of de big house. Dey had dirt floors and beds dat was made out of co'n shucks or straw. At nite dey burned de lamps for 'bout an hour, den de overseers, dey come knock on de door and tell 'em put de light out.

"Lots of overseers was mean. Sometimes dey'd whip a (n-word) wid a leather strap 'bout a foot wide and long as your arm and wid a wooden handle at de end."

An NFL player, or NFL hopeful, is an employee who is paid for his services, enjoys the benefits of a collectively bargained union contract, makes six to seven figures, and works for a living.

Any comparison to slavery is offensive to the life led by Adams, and the millions of other slaves who were treated worse than cash crops.

-- 2. Jamie Dixon and "racist claims."

Eddie Lampkin entered the season with the hope that he could be a double-double machine.

He has some nice NIL money to his name, but he has not come close to the production and promise he showed when he played so well in TCU's two NCAA Tournament games last season.

Instead, he's regressed and averaged 6.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24 games.

He's had injury issues he's tried to play through, but he has not improved and has been more a source of disappointment.

Rather than play in TCU's Big 12 tournament games, he's not with the team and now it looks like his TCU career is over.

On Wednesday, he posted a few bizarre messages on his Instagram account, including one from his mother that includes what looks like a text exchange with Dixon that reads, "If you all don't tell the truth of how you have mistreated, disrespected and said racial remarks towards him. We will. Please do not disrespect my son's name because all we have been is patient with YOU. Handle us with Christian values for once."

Dixon has been in basketball since he played at TCU in the mid '80s. The man has been an assistant or head coach for 30 years, and this is the first claim of anything remotely racist against Dixon.

He is a Power 5 head coach who is trying to get more out of a player who has next-level talent, but who isn't trying hard enough to make it happen.

That doesn't make Dixon a racist. It just makes him another frustrated coach.

-- 3. Michael Irvin needs to research lynchings.

The former Cowboys receiver said Wednesday in a press conference that he is a victim of a false allegation of misconduct from an accuser.

The accusation came in Glendale, Ariz. the week of the Super Bowl, where Irvin was working for the NFL Network and ESPN. He was removed from the coverage of the event after the allegation surfaced.

Irvin's attorney, Levi McCathern, said Wednesday he has seen the video of the alleged incident and it proves Irvin did nothing wrong.

Irvin said, "This sickens me because in this great country, this takes me back to a time where a white woman would accuse a Black man of something, and they would take a bunch of guys that were above the law, run into the barn and put a rope around them, drag him through the mud and hang them. This just blows my mind that in 2023 we are still dragging and hanging brothers by a tree."

Yeah. We're not.

There are still endless amounts of instances when a Black American is not treated equally to their fellow white Americans, and it's not a lynching.

In 1908 an 18-year-old Black kid named Ted Smith was dragged out of the Hunt County Jail in Greenville and set on fire in front of 2,500 people. He had a secret relationship with a white girl, and when the parents found out they accused Smith of rape.

That's a lynching, just as the other 4,000 to 6,000 known cases of lynchings, according to the NAACP, that occurred in the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries. Those are the ones we know about; there were probably more.

Whatever issues a person has with the NFL combine, Jamie Dixon, or an accuser, do yourself a favor and don't kill your argument by comparing it to something that has no equal.

It demeans the legacy of the real people who lived through that hell.

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