LeBron James says he’s “so incredibly proud” that California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law, which will allow college athletes to hire agents and sign endorsement deals.
Newsom signed the CA-SB206 bill on James’ “The Shop,” making California the first in the U.S. to permit college athletes to make money off their likeness(es), name(s), and image(s).
Meanwhile, folks who hate to see young, Black males on the come up are already blasting the bill and calling it “radical.”
James celebrated the Fair Pay for Play Act on Twitter on Monday, writing: “You the man Governor Gav! Appreciate you as so many many more as well!”
James was asked about bill while speaking to media at the Lakers’ training camp. He explained how his family wouldn’t have benefited financially had he chosen to go the college route instead of turning pro right after high school.
“Pretty much that No. 23 jersey would’ve got sold all over the place without my name on the back and everybody would’ve known the likeness,” James said, per The Washington Post. “My body would’ve been on the NCAA basketball game, 2004. [OSU’s] Schottenstein Center would’ve been sold out every night. Coming from — me and my mom didn’t have anything, we wouldn’t have been able to benefit at all from it. And the university would’ve been able to capitalize on everything. And I would’ve been there for that year or two or whatever. I understand what those kids are going through, I feel for those kids that have been going through it for so long.”
The new law takes effect on January 1, 2023, and makes it illegal for California colleges to deny student athletes opportunities to earn cash for the use of their names, images and likenesses, per SandraRose.com. The law does not require colleges and universities to pay student athletes, but it clashes with the NCAA’s rules.
According to Sports Illustrated, California colleges, the Pac-12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and the NCAA will all challenge the legality of the new law.