U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-Newark) and a host of other senators unveiled a bill that would expand the rights of college athletes Thursday.
The bill, dubbed the College Athletes Bill of Rights, would block the National Collegiate Athletic Association from restricting compensation for student athletes, as well as give the students the right to monetize their own image.
“As a former college athlete, this issue is personal to me. The NCAA has failed generations of young men and women even when it comes to their most basic responsibility — keeping the athletes under their charge healthy and safe,” Booker said. “The time has come for change. We have an opportunity to do now what should have been done decades ago — to step in and provide true justice and opportunity for college athletes across the country.”
The bill, which includes provisions for increased oversight of college athletics and uniform requirements fore health care for sport-related injuries, is set to be formally introduced in the coming months.
“It is ludicrous that the NCAA makes more than $1 billion a year off of college athletes, but will not allow these players to be paid, to own their own name or image, or to bargain collectively,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). In the midst of this pandemic, these athletes must have a seat at the table when their health and safety is on the line. These athletes are workers. It is long past time they be treated like it. That means safe working conditions, health care, collective bargaining rights, and fair wages for their labor.”