April 03, 2019

U.S. Rep. Lawson Teams with Lawmakers, Maverick Carter to Tackle Plight of Unpaid Student-Athletes

WASHINGTON DC — U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) hosted a panel discussion and movie screening of the sports documentary, Student Athlete, on Capitol Hill last night. The conversation tackled the plight of unpaid student-athletes in a multi-billion dollar athletic enterprise.

The event attracted more than 200 attendees, including members of Congress, local college students, current and former student athletes, and the documentary’s filmmakers.

“As we head down the final stretch to the NCAA Championship, I wanted to highlight some of my concerns about the multi-billion industry of college athletics and their stream of unpaid student labor, ” said Rep. Lawson, a former college basketball player and coach. “I think it is extremely vital, at this time, to have this conversation and discuss the policy implications and the disservice to student-athletes who can’t financially benefit from their labor.”

Rep. Lawson was joined on the panel with Maverick Carter, CEO of SpringHill Entertainment and Athlete Empowerment Company UNINTERUPTED; Steve Stoute, executive producer of Student Athlete; Natasha Cloud, player for the WNBA Washington Mystics; Robert Turner, PhD, former NFL player and author; Trish Dalton, director/producer of Student Athlete; and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, award-winning director/producer of Student Athlete.

Student Athlete is about telling the important story of college athletes and the struggles and sacrifices they make with little to show for it,” Carter said. “We’re proud that our film can help turn this long-time conversation in to real action.”

 This week, the congressman introduced the NCAA Act of 2019, which would eliminate the “one and done” rule, provide medical coverage for sports related injuries, and create an easier process for student athletes to gain work opportunities while in school.

Produced by HBO Sports, LeBron James’ and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, and Steve Stoute’s United Masters, Student Athlete examines the complex rules of amateur athletics in America and how they affect uncompensated athletes and their families.

“College athletes and their families deserve respect and fair legislation that protects their rights,” Dalton said.

 Rep. Lawson said he hopes that the conversation will start a dialogue and improve the overall collegiate athletic experience for student-athletes nationwide.