Connecticut Sen. Murphy addresses student-athlete pay issue during NFL Draft

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Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., spoke out late Friday against what he viewed as the inequities of major college athletics.

“Hard not to notice all the shots of filthy rich, almost exclusively white coaches, GMs, and team presidents, drafting almost exclusively African-American players who have been forced to work for free for 3 years in order to get a shot to be chosen,” Murphy tweeted during the second day of the NFL Draft.

In a previous tweet, Murphy referred to the "immoral" football "syndicate."

It’s not the first time Murphy has advocated for student-athlete pay.

Last year, he released a series of three reports called “Madness, Inc.”  that outlined how the NCAA’s profits have increased while athletes continue to go unpaid.


“I am a big college sports fan, but I think most fans recognize that the NCAA today isn’t acting in the best interest of many student-athletes,” Murphy said in a statement last March. “College sports has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry where everyone's getting rich except the students actually doing the work. Frankly, it’s a civil rights issue that no one is talking about.”

"College sports has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry where everyone's getting rich except the students actually doing the work."

— U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

Last year, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said he planned to introduce legislation to tax scholarships for athletes able to profit from their name and likeness after the NCAA voted in favor of it in October.

"If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income," Burr tweeted. "I’ll be introducing legislation that subjects scholarships given to athletes who choose to 'cash in' to income taxes.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, however, wrote a joint statement with Murphy in support of student-athlete compensation.

“The NCAA Board of Governors finally recognized that change is coming, and they need to adapt their rules to catch up with the times. We believe those rules must be changed to allow athletes to be compensated," Romney and Murphy said in the statement. "The name, image and likeness approach has its own challenges that we must address, and we’ll be carefully reviewing the NCAA’s next steps and working on ways Congress can reform college sports."


“We need to correct the inequities between what college coaches and the institutions make versus what the athletes receive and protect college athletes’ health and educational opportunities," they added.