About a week ago, the NCAA made the historic decision to let their athletes profit off their names and likeness through endorsement and promotional deals. This was largely inspired by the “Fair Play Act” signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30 that set a precedent for allowing college athletes to earn compensation for their name and likeness.

The NCAA’s acknowledgment of athletes’ rights to profit off their own names prompted both positive and head-scratching reactions — most notably from politicians.

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr proposed that college athletes’ scholarships should be taxed as income now. 

My colleague, Mason Robinson, wrote a great piece exposing that take for what it is: blatant racism against underprivlidged African-American student athletes.

Then there was Utah Senator Mitt Romney’s response to the NCAA’s decision.

The former private equity executive who has a net worth of $250 million and is the privileged son of a multi-millionaire has a big problem with student athletes potentially driving around luxury cars. For Christ’s sake, the guy literally has a car elevator. 

The hypocrisy speaks for itself.

What Mitt Romney’s comments really speak to is his fear of anyone other than rich white guys like himself flexing their wealth. In Romney’s view, only people like him are worthy of driving flashy cars and publicly displaying their wins in capitalism. To Mitt, the system allows for corporations and their executives to get ahead, enjoy big tax cuts, and purchase beach homes with car elevators. But when African-American NCAA athletes may also see some of that prosperity within the capitalistic system, then he criticizes the game he himself won, too. 

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