California’s “Fair Pay to Play Act” was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, setting up an eventual battle with the pearl-clutching NCAA and a bunch of people who like to yell about Title IX without actually knowing anything about Title IX. The bill will allow college athletes to be paid for the use of their likeness, and will go into effect on January 1st, 2023. This doesn’t seem like the most controversial thing on the planet, but given the reaction from those who oppose the bill and athletes getting paid, you’d assume it was.
Anyway, shortly after the news was announced on Monday morning, a video was released, featuring Newsom signing the bill (symbolically or otherwise)….on an episode of Uninterrupted’s The Shop, alongside LeBron James, agent Rich Paul, Diana Taurasi, Ed O’Bannon, Maverick Carter, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, and the bill’s co-sponsor, Senator Nancy Skinner.
I liked this quote from O’Bannon, talking about being in an NCAA video game without being paid for it.
“I enjoyed being in a video game, but they didn’t ask me for it. And my friend, who I was visiting at the time, said ‘we paid X amount of dollars for this, and you didn’t get a penny for it.'”
The signing of this bill isn’t the end of the debate and discussion about student athletes getting paid. Newsom going on The Shop to sign the bill is definitely going to get it some extra attention, and given the involvement of James, Paul, and others, a chunk of that attention won’t be positive.
I hate not being able to draw some kind of immediate conclusion, but so much this bill’s aftermath is a wait and see affair. I like that Newsom went on the show to discuss his feelings and opinions about athletes getting paid, but you get the feeling that the people who need to see this clip won’t see it.