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How LeBron and California Governor Newsom changed college sports forever

Governor of California Gavin Newsom joined HBO’s “The Shop” this past Friday to officially sign into law California’s ‘Fair Pay to Play Act‘ (SB206), which gives college athletes the ability to be paid fairly for use of their name and likeness in the state of California. This is a groundbreaking piece of legislation.

For years, everyone was able to profit off of the college athlete’s blood, sweat, and tears, except for the student-athletes themselves. This law changes that, at least in California for now, and Newsom coming on “The Shop” to officially sign the paper is a way to broadcast the news and a way for LeBron James and Maverick Carter to echo their UNINTERRUPTED slogan, “More Than An Athlete.”

“This is the number one reason why we’ve created this platform,” James gleefully declares. “To be able to have moments like this…”

This law, of course, does not mean universities or the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) are going to pay students. The “dictatorship” as Draymond Green calls the NCAA, would never dream of it. This merely allows top athletes to legally earn endorsement money.

If it is surprising that college athletes couldn’t do this before, you’re not in the minority. All other college students in other fields could have signed and earned money outside of their school; athletes were the only ones prohibited. And while other professions rely on the progress and maintenance of one’s mind over time, sports rely on one’s body.

An athlete’s window for making money is far shorter than another profession’s is, and for up to four years the NCAA prevents them from making a cent. Governor Newsom’s groundbreaking bill should start to change the tide.


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@gavinnewsom just sent a major message to the NCAA 💯#SB206

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“They’re a little panicked, ’cause they recognize they’re vulnerable. People are hitting this not just in California, but all across the country because the gig’s up. Billions of billions of dollars, 14 plus billion dollars goes to these universities, goes to these colleges, a billion-plus revenue to the NCAA themselves, and the actual product, the folks that are putting their lives on the lines, putting everything on the line, are getting nothing,” said Newsom on Friday.

Joining James, Carter, and Newsom on “The Shop” were the bill’s co-sponsor Senator Nancy Skinner, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, WNBA star Diana Taurasi, former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon and agent Rich Paul.

Starting on June. 1, 2023, the ‘Fair Pay to Play’ Act will allow all student-athletes enrolled in public and private four-year colleges and universities in California to earn money for their name, image, or likeness. This bill will also allow student-athletes to hire sports agents, and not lose their scholarships if they receive income for their work.


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THIS 🗣🗣🗣 #MoreThanAnAthlete

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While California is only one of 50 states, it is a big one and one that holds a lot of power and distinction. California is often the first state to start progressive legislation, and other states then follow suit.

The main argument against this bill passing is that it will destroy amateurism, that it will put young people on a pedestal because of the money they will receive, and will, therefore, destroy college sports. Governor Newsom mentioned on this episode of “The Shop” how college presidents and NCAA officials called him asking him why he was destroying college sports, why he was destroying the purity of amateurism.

As Newsom then notes, not once did they mention the needs of the student-athletes. LeBron even mentioned the main reason he went to the NBA right away was to receive money immediately to help his mom out. What about all the popular student-athletes that are selling out arenas, but not earning a cent, and watching their families still live in poverty? How is that fair?

And even if the “purity of amateurism” will be affected by this law, how is it fair for college and NCAA officials to decide what is best for student-athletes? It should be their money, and in 2023 it will be their money. This bill is revolutionary for college sports, college in general, and the entire country as a whole.

When asked what the signing of this bill is going to do, Newsom declared, “It’s going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation, and it’s going to change college sports for the better, by having now the interests, finally, of the athletes, on par with the interests of the institutions. Now we’re rebalancing that power arrangement.”