The Indianapolis Colts used a first-round draft choice on Ohio State wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez in 2007 with the expectation that he would make an impact alongside Peyton Manning for the next decade.
He didn’t leave a huge mark on the NFL, but he is trying to make a difference in the political sphere.
Gonzalez (R-OH) was elected to the US House of Representatives from Ohio’s 16th district in 2018. Along with former Tennessee Titans linebacker Colin Allred (D-TX), Gonzalez is one of two former NFL players that was elected to Congress during that cycle.
One of the bigger projects that he has been undertaking since getting into Congress is fighting on behalf of NCAA student-athletes in the ongoing war to allow them to profit off of their name and likeness. Gonzalez plans to introduce a bill that could shake the foundation of the NCAA.
Gonzalez, in an interview with Peter King, confirmed that he will introduce federal legislation to create universal standards that will govern how athletes can receive some money off of their name, image, and likeness.
If this legislation, as it is written, passes, it could change the entire foundation of college sports forever.
Colts: Anthony Gonzalez is fighting for college athletes to get paid.
“I think the legislation that myself and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), who’s my partner on the Democratic side, are going to introduce, likely next week, will expand the name, image and likeness right to all college athletes,” Gonzalez said. “There are some things you want to make sure don’t happen. Like, people buying recruits for example.”
Gonzalez totaled 1,240 yards and seven touchdowns in his first two seasons, and he looked to finally be on the path to stardom after he was handed WR2 duties following the retirement of Marvin Harrison. Unfortunately, major knee injuries slowed him down, and he recorded just five catches in the remainder of his career before turning his attention to politics.
Gonzalez isn’t completely on board the “pay the athletes” bandwagon, as he also confirmed to King that he thinks that schools paying student-athletes in the form of a salary or monthly stipend would “destroy college sports.” Still, he thinks that athletes deserve some money, and he’s going to bat for them in that regard.
Gonzalez’s body might’ve prevented him from becoming a tremendous force for the Colts on the field, but he is doing everything that he can in his second act to make sure athletes who follow in his footsteps aren’t financially exploited.