• Chris Murphy Reintroduces Legislation That Would Allow College Athletes to Unionize

    December 7, 2023
    Senator Chris Murphy, Public Domain.

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    Yesterday, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) reintroduced the College Athlete Right to Organize Act (CARO), which is legislation that affirms college athletes are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and are therefore entitled to the right to organize and collectively bargain for fair compensation and better working conditions.

    CARO would ensure athletes have full freedom to organize at their individual colleges, either by sport or across sports, or organize across colleges to negotiate collective bargaining agreements within their athletic conferences. 

    U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.-16), who was charged with a misdemeanor for falsely pulling a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building during a vote on averting a government shutdown, introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Murphy said it's "past time" that athletes should get a seat at the negotiating table. He believes that college athletes should negotiate directly for revenue-sharing, health and safety protections and more. "This legislation would make it easier for the athletes to realize their power, form unions, and start to collectively bargain,” said Murphy.

    Sanders cannot wait for the NCAA to "share its billions with the workers who create it."

    Warren agreed with Sanders that college athletes should be able to unionize and ensure they get a "fair share" of that pot of revenue.

    Full text of the bill is available HERE.

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