Nigel Hayes had a heck of a career during his time at Wisconsin.
The Badgers went to two Final Fours and won 115 games with Hayes in the lineup. The success is undeniable.
But when it came down to delivering a message to the masses, Hayes — who is set to graduate from Wisconsin — didn’t write much about basketball. He wrote more about life and his growth off of the court during his time in Madison via The Players’ Tribune.
At one point toward the end of his article, Hayes talked about collegiate athletes and how they should be paid.
“We really need to come up with a plan to pay student-athletes,” Hayes wrote. “Wait, you thought I wasn’t going to mention that? It shouldn’t even be a controversial notion. After all, I’m a finance major. It’s just the simple law of supply and demand, sprinkled with principles of the American market economy. Isn’t it interesting that collegiate athletics is one of the only American industries that doesn’t feel the need to abide by those same rules?
“(Psst, I learned that in college, while playing basketball.)”
In the meat and bones of his write-up, Hayes talked about politics and how many people on Twitter reacted to his political stances.
“Whenever I — Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin student and basketball player, class of 2017 — tweeted about something that had to do with sports, I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
“But whenever I — Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin student and basketball player, class of 2017 — tweeted about something ‘political,’ ‘serious,’ ‘racial’ or what have you … I noticed a pattern. The replies usually fell into three general categories.
“The first category, I’ll just call trolls … commenters trying to demean, not engage in dialogue, while hiding behind egg avatars. Need I say more?
“The second type of response, and always appreciated, went something like this: Thanks for using your platform to speak your mind.
“And the third response went something like this: Just shut up and play basketball! People also said things that were much worse, of course, but given that children may read this, I’ll spare you the graphic details.”
Hayes got more in-depth about the third type of response he received as the post went on, which again, can be read here in its entirety.