California governor Gavin Newsom made history on Monday when he signed CA-SB206 into law. The bill requires that all California colleges and universities pay student athletes for the use of their name, likeness, and image. It’s a major step toward equality and fairness for student athletes, who are currently paid not in money but scholarships while their athletic prowess makes millions of dollars for colleges and universities.
When a governor signs a bill into law that’s as groundbreaking as SB206, you might imagine him doing it at his ornate official desk, using a very fancy pen while surrounded by vocal supporters. The signing of this bill, however, took place somewhere much different: Newsom signed the bill during an episode of LeBron James’ HBO show “The Shop.”
On the Shop, Newsom signs the bill while sitting in a barber chair alongside a smiling James and several other athletes, including WNBA legend Diana Taurasi and former UCLA basketball star Ed Bannon, who himself was part of a major successful class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA back in 2014 for the use of college athletes’ likenesses in video games.
The law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. It does not apply to community colleges and bans athletes from accepting endorsement deals that conflict with their schools’ existing contracts.
California is the first state to pass such a law.
“You can only imagine how they’re responding to this notion of name, image, likeness and the opportunity now to do what every other student in the university can legally do…it’s an interesting fact LeBron, the only people that sign away their right, the only group…are athletes,” Newsom said.