Draymond Green is a smart man. Draymond Green is a passionate man.
So when the Warriors forward was asked last week at Media Day about his thoughts on the bill Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law that will allow college athletes in California to make money off their likeness, he did not hold back.
"The NCAA is a dictatorship," Draymond declared emphatically.
He wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post on Wednesday evening to further explain his feelings, entitled "The NCAA is a dictatorship. Its rules on compensating athletes are unfair." Draymond loved his college experience and said his four years at Michigan State were some of the best of his life, but:
"My passion for my university also fuels my desire to take on the unjust NCAA rules restricting college athletes from profiting off their likeness. I've seen firsthand just how backward these rules are.
"If you're an NCAA athlete, it controls everything you do. And if you don't follow its archaic rules, it will prohibit you from playing ... people argue that changing these rules will destroy college athletics. Those are just scare tactics from people who want to keep players from being able to make money that's rightfully theirs.
This bill does not say the NCAA needs to pay athletes. It simply allows college athletes to endorse products or sell jerseys. It won't slow the money that pours into the NCAA; in fact, it might keep players in college longer."
While I might disagree with Draymond over the use of the word "dictatorship," I could not agree more with everything else he wrote and has previously said.
If Draymond Green signs a bunch of his Michigan State jerseys, and Spartan fans pony up to buy one, why shouldn't he be able to take in the revenue? If you genuinely don't want him to pocket that money, you need to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, "Why?"
If Nike is willing to pay Draymond to endorse some products and/or star in commercials, why should you care if he's getting a check for it? Spoiler alert -- you shouldn't care at all.
Are you going to stop watching Michigan State play because you think the "purity" of college sports has been ruined? Is it "pure" that the school, the NCAA, the TV networks, etc. rake in the money, while Draymond does not?
Some people think that college athletes should also get a check from the NCAA and/or their respective universities. While I would support that initiative, I fully understand the complexities and get the perspectives of those who oppose that model.
But that's not what we are discussing, and it's not what the Fair Play to Pay Act entails. As Draymond said, "The bill does not say the NCAA needs to pay athletes."
Colleges reap billions from student athletes but block them from earning a single dollar. That's a bankrupt model.
I just signed the Fair Play to Pay Act with @KingJames -- making CA the first state to allow student athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness. pic.twitter.com/aWE9OL9r1v— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 30, 2019
The NCAA needs to evolve and change its rules.
It's pretty simple.