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Al Lawson Hosting Forum on Black Student Athletes

September 12, 2019 - 6:00am
Al Lawson
Al Lawson

Increasingly focused on collegiate sports during his second term in Congress, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., will host a forum Thursday on the “State of the Black Student Athlete in America” during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) in Washington DC.

Lawson, who played and coached college basketball, is hosting the forum to “examine the pressures and economic responsibilities black student athletes face, whether students are being prepared academically for life outside of sports, potential inequities between historically black institutions and other colleges, mental health awareness, the role of social activism and what happens after the game is over.

“College athletics is a multi-billion dollar business, and oftentimes, a black student athlete serves as the face for an institution where he or she may not otherwise have access,” Lawson said when he announced the forum earlier this week. “These young men and women are essential to the revenue generated by college athletic programs. That is why it is vital that we have conversations like these, with as many voices as possible – students, coaches, administrators, policymakers, if we truly want to see positive change.”

Panelists include Wanda Durant, the founder and CEO of the Real MVP Foundation; actor Timon Kyle Durrett who was a student athlete; former NFL player Vincent Fuller; Florida State University Basketball Coach Leonard Hamilton; Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association; Dr. Edward Scott, the athletic director at Morgan State; former NFL player and author Dr. Robert Turner; and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Vice President Stan Wilcox. Journalist Georgia Dawkins will moderate the event. 

Back in April, Lawson hosted a panel discussion and screened a documentary on Capitol Hill which focused on “the plight of unpaid student-athletes in a multi-billion-dollar athletic enterprise.” 

Also that month, Lawson brought out  the “NCAA Act” 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.” Lawson reeled in nine cosponsors including Democrat U.S. Reps. Alexandria Octavia-Cortez of New York, Ihan Omar of Minnesota,  Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. Lawson’s proposal was sent to the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee where it has lingered since April. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. Senate. 


how about focusing on the "state of the black student", period. Enough of the athletes, many of whom were simply pushed through public schools to begin with. Give attention to those young men and women, who actually study, apply themselves, strive to learn, and desire to become productive citizens. As opposed to the few whose sole ambition is a "pro" contract, with no guarantee's. And once that "pro" career does not pan out, what then? Many still cannot read, write, do math, or speak a coherent sentence. Focus the energy where is counts, not on the delusional few.

"” Lawson reeled in nine cosponsors including Democrat U.S. Reps. Alexandria Octavia-Cortez of New York, Ihan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida." if that list of "winners" doesn't tell you something, nothing will. Vote this buffoon out of office!

"College sports" no longer has anything to do with college - except generating money to pay coaches ridiculous salaries and perks and to "prepare" the "select few" for the even more ridiculous salaries and lifestyles at the "professional athlete" level! Fugeddaboudit!

I'm so sick of these targeted "groups". If you want to help students why can't it be ALL students????

You KNOW the specific constituency that Al unnerringly focusses upon,.. so, if you're not of THAT specific group,.. WHY would YOU vote for ANYONE not having EVERYONES' interests at heart? (I WON'T !)

All Student Athletes ....... Not Just Black.

Can you imagine the national outcry if this was for "white" student athletes?

Take your complaint to the "CONGRESSIONAL WHITE CAUCUS"; and see where that gets you...

I couldn't find them. I guess next I'll look up the NAAWP to see if they can help.


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