Calls for NCAA to compensate college athletes

Draymond Green, three-time NBA champion of the Golden State Warriors, discussed what immediate steps he’d like to see the NCAA take.
5:56 | 06/30/20

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Transcript for Calls for NCAA to compensate college athletes
Another topic, paying college athletes. That's been a longtime debate. Many could argue and want to argue, this may not be the right time to have that discussion. As we see colleges across the country requiring their mostly black athletes to return without any concrete plans from the ongoing outbreaks, students are being backed into a corner, having to choose between their health and their athletic scholarship. Draymond green of the golden state warriors believes the time is now for the NCAA to stop what he calls a dictatorship. He joins me now. Good to see you, young fella. Anybody could argue, we're in a pandemic, we're in the midst of reform when it comes to social inequality. Is this a topic we need to be taking on right now, college athletes and compensating them, but you say these things go together, why? First off, thanks for having me. I think these things go together for several reasons. Number one, as you just said, we have these athletes returning to these campuses, they're not offering them any health benefits, but having them return to campus and having these athletes make a choice on their future and now. You're talking about 18, 19, 20-year-olds and you're making them make these decisions. Most of which come from impoverished backgrounds. The only choice most kids are going to make is return to school because they don't know what their future looks like outside of going back to school. You know, it's the same thing we have seen for years the NCAA taking advantage of these kids who don't -- whose families don't have the funds to decide on another option. It's a very black and white thing. You have a lot of these coaches who aren't African-American making $6 million, $7 million, $8 million, and yet you -- I think it's 64% of college basketball players are African-American. And yet, they're going out there, they're putting their lives on the line. These coaches have benefits. They have every benefit they possibly need. And yet, they're not the ones on the front line every day doing these workouts. Head coaches don't even show up much in the summertime. You know, so, it's the kids who are at risk, it's the kids who are not being compensated and senator Murphy and I, we plan to take this thing head-on and move this forward. It's time these athletes are compensated for what they're bringing to the universities and the NCAA. It's an argument you hear often is that they are being compensated, they're being compensated because they are getting free education it's worth something at major universities where it can cost upwards of $200,000, $300,000 to get a four-year education. Address those critics who say that's compensation and we should be looking at that as something of value? That's not compensation. You have a lot of students who go to school on academic scholarships as well. Those students aren't allowed to seek work outside, you know, the academics that they're doing at that school. Yet, you have these athletes coming in who have the same academic commitment, they also have an even larger athletic commitment. They aren't able to seek work outside of their athletic commitments. Yet, they're bringing millions and millions of dollars to that school. On the high end, $250,000 for a college degree, schools make that at the gate of a game, five times at the gate of any one game on a soft Tuesday, that's not compensation and also, a lot of these scholarships, their endowments, donations as I am a donor to Michigan state. They're covering these kids' scholarships. That's the excuse they've used for years. It's not flying anymore. We know better than that. We know that's not compensation. I want to make a shift here, I do have to ask you about an initiative, the more than a vote initiative, trying to get more people engaged, more young people engaged, African-Americans in particular, in the process. You have to tell me, draymond, when was the last time you voted? The last time I was voted was 2008. I was 18 years old. I was extremely excited to vote. As a young black kid growing up in Saginaw, Michigan, the thought of having a black president in president Obama, we never thought that was an option. As a young 18-year-old I was extremely excited to go vote for president Obama and help him get into office. You know, that tune changed for me at 22. I thought at 22, president Obama wins again I don't need to vote again. At 26 in 2016, I'm kind of at a place, my vote don't matter. We have seen someone win the popular vote several times and not win the election. I didn't understand the electoral college. That's something that I'd to educate myself on. I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of millions of others people and specifically African-Americans who think the same thing and so, at more than a vote, we're just trying to educate, because I know like I said there are several others who have the same thoughts and ideas and beliefs that I had. And yet, you know, the state of Michigan was decided by 10,000 votes. And you know, the studies show that African-Americans didn't show up to vote. I think our lives are on the line right now. It's important that we educate ourselves and get out the vote when it's time. It's still important to get out there. Draymond, been with you the last five years for the NBA finals. Hopefully, I'll see you back at the finals next year. Yes, sir. Good to see you. Take care. Good to see you as well.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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