John Mellencamp Rock star John Mellencamp, left, and guitarist Mike Wanchic perform to a packed house on Mellencamp’s “Live and In Person Tour” on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at the Peoria Civic Center Theater.

Rock singer John Mellencamp offered a controversial take on slavery, Black Americans and professional athletes on the latest edition of the Club Random with Bill Maher podcast.

The 71-year-old Mellencamp, who rose to fame in the 1980s, revealed to Maher that he had written a song entitled, From the Cotton Field to the Playing Fields. He has not released the song, however, as he thought it was “wrong.”

Maher did not let the comparison between slavery and pro athletes slide.

“I would say that the playing fields are a lot better than the cotton fields,” Maher said in the podcast. “That’s what I would say about that. Maybe I’m crazy, John, but it seems like making no money as a slave picking cotton — it was not as good as playing left field for the Yankees.”

Mellencamp seemed to concede the point, saying that “1 or 2% of Black people” in American “have a better life today.”

“Oh, stop, that’s what you think?” an incredulous Maher responded. “1 or 2%?”

“OK, let’s say 10%. I just pulled a number out of my ***,” Mellencamp said.

Maher joked that’s where Mellencamp’s opinion belonged.

The “slaves to athletes” comparison has been made before, and is usually quickly refuted by people pointing out that idolized athletes making millions per year playing a game have nothing in common with slavery. Mellencamp apparently didn’t get the memo the argument is bogus.

[Fox News]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.