- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2019

Sen. Cory A. Booker on Thursday released a plan intended to bolster the rights of college athletes and move toward pay and gender equity in sports, including to the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

Under Mr. Booker’s plan, college athletes could get paid for “name, image, and likeness” rights, a priority modeled on legislation that recently passed in California.

“Sports at these levels is a multibillion-dollar business,” said Mr. Booker, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former college football player. “Just as we shouldn’t accept collusion, wage theft, and a massive gender pay gap in any other industry, we shouldn’t accept them in sports.”

Mr. Booker also wants to establish a new federal commission on “Integrity in Sports” that would provide additional oversight over college athletics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

The commission would be charged with making recommendations on issues like whether athletes should be able to form unions, health and safety standards, and access to health care.

Mr. Booker also wants to bolster health and safety standards for college athletes, help current and former college athletes pay their medical bills, and make it easier for athletes to transfer schools.

The plan also includes legislation to require national governing bodies, including the United States Soccer Federation, to compensate female athletes “fairly and equally.”

He also wants to improve pay for minor league baseball players, end “exploitative” labor policies for NFL cheerleaders and NBA dancers, and crack down on “anti-competitive” labor practices, invoking former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s effective exile from the league as an example.

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