California College Athletes Will Soon Be Able to Make Money off Endorsements

The NCAA isn’t happy.

Jevone Moore/Zuma

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California’s college athletes will soon be able to profit from the use of their names, images, and likenesses, thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday.

Professional athletes such as LeBron James have supported the bill, saying professional endorsements fairly compensate college players for their work, the Los Angeles Times reported. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) however, has argued that the bill will unfairly benefit athletes in California over those in other states.

“It’s going to change college sports for the better by having now the interest finally of the athletes on par with the interests of the institution,” Newsom said on an episode of UNINTERRUPTED’S talk show The Shop, which was filmed on Friday and aired on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Now we are rebalancing that power.”

NCAA athletes are currently prohibited from profiting from their sports. Beginning in 2023, the bill, which was passed unanimously by California’s state legislature, will prohibit the NCAA from barring universities from competition if their players make money through endorsements.

The bill is a victory for college athletes who have been fighting for compensation despite pushback from the NCAA. The athletes affected by the bill include players for some of the wealthiest teams in the Pac-12 Conference: University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University; and University of Southern California.

Similar legislation has been introduced in New York, and Newsom has said he expects other states to follow suit.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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