Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has once again proven his stupidity knows no bounds.
This is the man who let Georgians run wild during a raging pandemic, and criticized the MLB for moving their All-Star Game from Atlanta following his signing of an egregiously restrictive voting law.
After the PR nightmare that Kemp has put the state in over the past year, you’d think he’d learn when to shut up. However, he’s meddling his head into the sports world once again, and as you can imagine he’s jacking everything up.
Kemp signed Georgia’s NIL bill into law which would allow college athletes to get endorsements and sponsorships based on their image and likeness starting on July 1. On its surface it’s a good move for the state to allow these athletes who generate hundreds of millions in revenue for their school to have an avenue to pocket some money as well, but if you look deeper that’s where the foolery lives.
Apparently, the NIL bill that Kemp signed has a provision that allows the student-athlete’s school to up to 75 percent of his/her endorsement income. The school would then place that money in a pool for all athletes and give it out once athletes graduate or withdraw from school.
You mean to tell me that these athletes who are getting paid for THEIR hard work could potentially have this massive chunk of money taken out of their pockets just because a school decides to?
That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard since listening to Donald Trump explain foreign policy.
Obviously, if programs are smart they wouldn’t exercise this provision because of how it would detrimentally impact recruiting. Why would any top-level athlete choose to go to a Georgia school if the schools can cut into their earning power?
Additionally, the athletes don’t have control over their money, at least not right away. Whatever money the athletes are allowed to keep goes into an escrow account that they can’t access until a year after graduation or they withdraw from the school.
The provision in this bill is blatantly stupid and an obvious attempt to try to keep control over these athletes, many of whom are students of color and women, two groups that have been economically discriminated against in this country. It’s no secret that this level of income during the collegiate years could help create some wealth for an athlete and their family. Most of these students will never make it to the professional level but if they can get a few nice checks from some local establishments then that could make all the difference. It’s hard to imagine such a law standing up to constitutional scrutiny, but it will take some time for any challenge to wind its way through the court system. It’s not a tax. It’s not a fee. It’s just a school straight up taking money from a player because the Georgia legislature says it can. It also reeks of the “wealth redistribution” the GOP is always ranting and raving about.
These states need to just pass their NIL legislation and let the market set what the price will be for these players and allow them to keep the money. It’s so simple. Just let these players get their dough and watch the NCAA brand grow even bigger than it already is.
Laws with provisions like the one Kemp signed make no sense, but I’d expect nothing less from him. However, for other states looking to pass NIL legislation, I just beg of you to make this simple and let these athletes get their paper.