Booker proposal would protect athlete labor rights

Booker proposal would protect athlete labor rights
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe CNN signs Andrew Yang as contributor Bloomberg qualifies for South Carolina primary debate MORE (D-N.J.) introduced a raft of proposals Thursday to protect athletes' labor rights, including requiring compensation for college athletes for the rights to their names, images and likenesses (NIL).

In a statement, Booker called for the establishment of a commission to address “issues of economic justice” for student athletes, including health and safety standards and transparency around academic outcomes.

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Booker also pledged to push for a federal law to ensure athletes benefit from sponsorships or NIL rights as well as hire agents or business managers.

The New Jersey senator also pledged to sign the Athletics Fair Pay Act, under which national governing bodies for professional sports would be required to compensate female athletes equally and fairly.

Booker specifically notes that the legislation would affect the United States Soccer Federation, currently the defendants in a pay discrimination lawsuit from the U.S. Women’s National soccer team.

Booker also pledges to end “anti-competitive and anti-worker practices” such as the collusion by NFL team owners to keep them out of the league alleged by former players Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick.

While a student at Stanford University, Booker played as a tight end.

“Playing football at Stanford was one of the greatest opportunities I have ever received. What I learned about hard work, perseverance, and teamwork are lessons I carry with me to this day. I also learned that fair play means recognizing injustice everywhere — including unfair practices that have gone on for far too long in college and professional sports,” Booker said in a statement.

“As president, I’ll fight to advance justice for all — and that includes the professional and student athletes who power this multi-billion dollar industry. I will crack down on these practices so that all athletes have the opportunity to pursue the American dream through their hard work and fans can share in the joy of fair competition,” he added.