Rep. Gonzalez confirmed to Sports Illustrated's Peter King that he's now ready to introduce bipartisan federal legislation alongside Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) calling for athletes to be compensated for the use of their names, images, and likeness, eighteen months after initially revealing plans to do so, in the latest edition of Football Morning in America.
‘It’s an incredible life-changing experience to play college sports,” Gonzalez told King. “I wouldn’t be sitting in this seat if I didn’t play at Ohio State. There are so many great, positive things about college athletics, not just football, but all the sports. Having said that, there’s an obvious inequity in my view between what the college athlete is allowed to do with their own name, image and likeness, and what everybody else in society is able to do. . . . I think the legislation that myself and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who’s my partner on the Democratic side, are going to introduce, likely next week, will expand the name, image and likeness right to all college athletes and have one universal standard across the country and then build some guard rails, because there are some things you want to make sure don’t happen. Like, people buying recruits for example.”
California has already enacted a name, image and likeness law, and several other states are working to enact similar NIL laws, which could create a major recruiting edge. The legislation proposed by Reps. Gonzales and Cleaver aims to have a uniform national standard.
Gonzalez played wide receiver at Ohio State from 2004-06 before being selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the first-round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
The former wide receiver retired from sports and enrolled in the Stanford Graduate School of Business in September 2012 before pursuing a career in politics, assuming the office of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio's 16th district in 2019.
Gonzalez said he is aiming for the legislation to be passed by late 2021 or the beginning of 2022.
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