Todd Gurley wasn’t exactly subtle with his thoughts Thursday in the ongoing conversation about amateurism and athlete compensation.
The Pro Bowl running back for the Los Angeles Rams and former Georgia star took the podium at his media session Thursday with a message for the NCAA.
‘Not Concerned About Athletes’
In case you can’t see it clearly, his T-shirt reads “Not Concerned About Athletes.”
He told reporters he’d let the shirt “speak for itself,” which makes sense. The message is crystal clear.
Gurley’s message arrives amid changing landscape
As the state of California leads a path to change in terms of athlete compensation with the recently passed Fair Pay to Play Act, Gurley stands with the athletes and proponents of change. The California law allows for college athletes to receive payment for their likeness without the threat of losing their amateur status and has the potential to force the NCAA’s reluctant hand on the issue.
While the NCAA rails against the rule, Gurley joins prominent sports figures like Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski in supporting change — even if his message doesn’t directly address the law.
Gurley’s beef with the NCAA
Gurley had his issues with the NCAA when he was an amateur athlete. While at Georgia in 2014, the NCAA suspended Gurley for four games after reports that he got paid $3,000 for signing autographs and merchandise.
He was punished for receiving a small token on his legitimate value, an incident that obviously still sits with him since he’s become a multi-millionaire and NFL star.
Ode to the Boz?
Gurley’s shirt recalls the infamous T-Shirt Oklahoma star linebacker Brian Bosworth wore at the 1987 Orange Bowl. His take was a little more pointed than Gurley’s, but in the same spirit, reading “National Communists Against Athletes.”
Gurley is obviously long past the point of receiving any tangible backlash for speaking his mind on the NCAA and is happy to use his NFL platform to deliver a message.
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