Democrats introduce bill allowing college athletes to organize

Democrats introduce bill allowing college athletes to organize

A group of Democrats have introduced the first-ever bills in the House and Senate to allow college student athletes to organize under the National Labor Relations Act.

The long shot bill, which would require the votes of 10 Republicans along with every Democrat in the Senate to pass the upper chamber, would expand union rights across the nation to college athletes and allow them to collectively bargain for benefits and wages, according to a copy obtained by The Athletic.

College student athletes would be considered "employees" of their respective schools if they receive any student aid dependent on their participation in student sports.

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The bill would also ban any college scholarships that are dependent on athletes agreeing to not engage in collective bargaining.

It is sponsored by Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Lawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (I-Vt.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (D-Conn.) in the Senate, and Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman (N.Y.), Andy LevinAndrew (Andy) LevinHaiti Caucus: Forging path out of crisis will not be quick, but necessary to avoid false 'democracy' Overnight Defense: Two injured in latest attack on US troops in Iraq | Judge rules Air Force mostly responsible for 2017 Texas mass shooting | Shock and turmoil after Haiti assassination Haitian president's assassination adds to crisis in Caribbean nation MORE (Mich.) and Lori TrahanLori A. TrahanDemocrats urge online platforms to extend UK child protections to US Ex-Massachusetts House candidate accused of soliciting illegal campaign contributions Democrats introduce bill allowing college athletes to organize MORE (Mass.) in the House.

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The Hill has reached out for a full copy of the legislation.

“Big time college sports haven’t been ‘amateur’ for a long time, and the NCAA has long denied its players economic and bargaining rights while treating them like commodities," Murphy said in a statement to USA Today.

The bill would “help athletes get the pay and protections they deserve and forces the NCAA to treat them as equals rather than second-class citizens. It’s a civil rights issue, and a matter of basic fairness," he added.

Six states have introduced bills in their own legislatures that would pave the way to student athletes being paid for their work or likeness, a prospect the NCAA and other athletic associations have vocally opposed for years.

Earlier this month, the NCAA's president recommended that college athletes be given endorsement deals as the organization has faced calls to expand rights and benefits for its players.