Another Reason To Scrap The NBA's Age Rule: It's Probably Illegal

Here, via New York employment lawyer Louis Pechman, is yet another sensible argument against the NBA's minimum-age rule: It violates state discrimination laws.

At the very least, this one is sure to get a little more traction than U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen's "vestige of slavery" line of attack. Writes Pechman:

Surprisingly lost in the discussion about whether age limits are appropriate for the NBA draft is the fact that many state laws prohibit employment discrimination against individuals who are eighteen or over. As playing in the NBA is employment - albeit a dream job - eighteen year olds are deprived of their potential employment and are thus victims of age discrimination. In New York, for example, the New York State Human Rights Law prohibits employers from refusing to hire or employ an "individual eighteen years of age or older… because of such individual's age." The NBA, and its players' union, are subject to compliance with all New York employment laws, as well as other state laws which prohibit discrimination based on age.

So the lawyers hate the rule. The economists hate the rule. A Tennessee congressman hates the rule. Bob Knight hates the rule. Greg Oden hates the rule. Hell, even Dick Vitale, who never offers an opinion that can't be expressed via catchphrase, hates the rule. Yes, that's right: The rule is so bad even Dick Vitale makes sense.

And David Stern's response? He wants to raise the age minimum to 20. This is what the modern NBA has become: a league where the suits are the ones constantly breaking the law. Awesome, baby.


The NBA Age Limit and the Employment Discrimination Laws
[BWP Employment Law]