LeBron James hosted California Gov. Gavin Newsom as he signed into law a bill allowing college athletes to be paid

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  • On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 206, also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, a bill that gives student-athletes the ability to earn money from the use of their names, images, and likenesses.
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  • Newsom appeared on LeBron James’ HBO show “The Shop” to sign the bill and discuss its potential impact moving forward.
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  • James had been a prominent supporter of the bill.
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  • James believes college athletes should be able to market themselves to earn money while still in school.
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  • The bill is scheduled to go into effect in 2023 but is expected to face a legal challenge from the NCAA.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom joined LeBron James on his HBO show “The Shop” to sign SB 206.

Also known as the Fair Pay to Play Act, the bill gives student-athletes the ability to earn money from the use of their names, images, and likenesses. It passed through California state legislature unanimously.

On Monday, Newsom brought out the paperwork and a pen to sign the bill in a clip that James shared on social media.

Read more: LeBron James might be America’s most visible labor activist right now – and he’s garnering support from Bernie Sanders

James and Newsom discussed the bill, its significance, and what it would mean for student-athletes in California and potentially across the country. They were joined by Maverick Carter, WNBA star Diana Taurasi, UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, agent Rich Paul, and former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon,

“I’m so incredibly proud to share this moment with all of you,” James wrote on Twitter. “@gavinnewsom came to The Shop to do something that will change the lives for countless athletes who deserve it! @uninterrupted hosted the formal signing for SB 206 allowing college athletes to responsibly get paid.”

“It’s going to initiate dozens of other states to introduce similar legislation,” Newsom said when asked what would change once the law was signed. “And it’s going to change college sports for the better by having now the interest finally of the athletes on par with the interests of the institution. Now we are rebalancing that power arrangement.”

The bill is expected to face a court challenge from the NCAA before it is scheduled to go into effect in 2023 but received support from across the political spectrum in California.

According to the New York Times, the legislation leaves open the potential for a rework depending on how the NCAA proceeds. However, it explicitly states that the intent of the bill is “to avoid exploitation of student-athletes, colleges, and universities.”

“Every single student in the university can market their name, image, and likeness; they can go and get a YouTube channel, and they can monetize that,” Newsom told The New York Times. “The only group that can’t are athletes. Why is that?”

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