NBA players can invest in NBA teams and more under their new CBA
Some would dismiss the NBA as woke or whatever. Others would call the NBA truly progressive.
Via Shams Charania of TheAthletic.com, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA and its union allows players to invest in NBA teams, WNBA teams, sports betting companies, and cannabis companies.
Although that hardly rectifies the gross imbalance between those who have all the equity and those who have none of it, it gives players the freedom to turn their money into more money, if they so choose. It removes barriers to entrepreneurial endeavors that better fit with their careers and interests.
It lets the players behave more like owners.
And it’s something the NFL should do, sooner than later.
Any such plan raises questions in a salary-capped environment. A player who buys a piece of his team must pay fair market value. And it could be awkward if a player buys a piece of his current team, and then ends up playing for a different one.
Still, the NFL should study the NBA’s experience, so that similar devices could be added to the next football labor deal.
Then again, nothing prohibits a side letter now. In theory, the NFL and the NFL Players Association could do it today, if they want. But neither side gives something to the other side without getting something back; that’s how collective bargaining works.
Regardless, ownership of sports teams and related properties can be lucrative. Why should players be banned from participating? Packers (for now) quarterback Aaron Rodgers originally made a $3.5 million investment in the Milwaukee Bucks. The recent purchase of a piece of the team by Browns ownership entails a valuation that pushes Rodgers’s stake to $35 million.