USW Endorses Framework for College Athletes’ Bill of Rights

Contact: R.J. Hufnagel, rhufnagel@usw.org, 412-562-2450
 
(PITTSBURGH) – The United Steelworkers (USW) union today announced its full support for a legislative framework for a comprehensive College Athletes’ Bill of Rights put forth by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, USW International President Tom Conway urged senators to support the framework, which includes proposals to allow athletes to secure representation and receive compensation for the use of names and likenesses, establish health and safety standards, increase the freedom for student athletes to transfer, and provide medical coverage, among other provisions.

“NCAA sports is a predatory industry that exploits college athletes physically, economically, and academically,” Conway wrote in his letter. “Unjust NCAA policies and practices have a disproportionate negative impact on Black college athletes, many of whom are from low-income homes. Black college athletes make up the majority of revenue sport athletes yet suffer the lowest graduation rates.”

The framework also has the backing of the National College Players Association (NCPA), an advocacy group that fights for fair treatment for college athletes and includes more than 20,000 Division I athletes from more than 150 college campuses. The USW has strongly supported the work of the NCPA since the organization’s inception in 2001.

“The USW has stood in solidarity, side by side, with the NCPA,” Conway wrote. “Our union strongly supports congressional action to put an end to the countless injustices that have plagued college athletes for generations by developing and adopting a sound College Athletes’ Bill of Rights.”

Click here for the full text of the letter.

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. 

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