LeBron James explains why he supports college athletes’ right to earn from their name and likeness after California passes Fair Pay to Play Act

  • On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, a bill that gives student-athletes the ability to earn money from the use of their names, images, and likenesses.
  • Newsom appeared on LeBron James' HBO show "The Shop" to sign the bill and discuss its potential impact moving forward.
  • Speaking with reporters at the Lakers' media day, James explained why the bill was personal to him.
  • James wasn't the only athlete to speak out in favor of the bill, with Warriors star Draymond Green referring to the NCAA as a "dictatorship" for their policies restricting student-athletes from making money off of their names and likenesses.
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LeBron James spoke with reporters about his support for California's Fair Pay to Play Act during the Los Angeles Lakers press day on Monday.

The bill, which aims to permit college athletes to earn money from their names, images, and likenesses, was passed unanimously by the California state legislature. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill while appearing on James' HBO show "The Shop," as James revealed on social media on Monday.

Read more: LeBron James hosted California Gov. Gavin Newsom as he signed into law a bill allowing college athletes to be paid

Speaking with reporters, James said that while he and his mother would not see any of the money, his school would have brought in tons of revenue driven by his presence.

"If I would have went off to Ohio State … pretty much that '23' jersey would have got sold all over the place, without my name on the back, but everyone would have known the likeness," James said. "My body would have been on the NCAA basketball game 2004. The Schottenstein Center would have been sold out every single night if I was there."

"Me and my mom, we didn't have anything," James said. "We wouldn't have been able to benefit at all from it. And the university would've been able to capitalize on everything that I would have been there for that year or two or whatever."

"I understand what those kids are going through. I feel for those kids who've been going through it for so long, so that's why it's personal for me."

James wasn't the only athlete to speak out in support of the bill. Warriors star Draymond Green referred to the NCAA as a "dictatorship" with regard to their treatment of student-athletes.

The bill is expected to be met with court challenges before it is scheduled to go into effect in 2023, but between its unanimous passing and the swell of support the cause has gained, it feels as though the effort to pay college athletes in some regard is finally reaching a breaking point.

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