A day after a regional director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that college athletes should be considered employees and be allowed to form unions, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on Thursday said college athletes should be able because they needed money to wash their underwear.
Reid told the Washington Post, “Of course they should be able to organize. The way these people are treated by the NCAA and the universities themselves is really unpardonable, and I wish them well. I’ll do anything I can to help.”
He also said that “the rules these coaches have to adhere to because of the NCAA are ridiculous, and the rules are set to make athletes fail, not succeed.” Reid, who has come under fire for using $31,000 in campaign funds to buy jewelry from his granddaughter to give as “holiday gifts,” said that players should have the option to collectively bargain because, he claimed, they don’t have enough money to wash their underwear right now.
“How could you justify a coach getting a multiple-year contract at $5 million a year – or let’s say it’s one of the lesser coaches, a contract at $900,000 a year – a multiple-year contract?” Reid said. “And a player doesn’t have the money to wash his underwear? I just think this is outrageous. The NCAA, of course, for a long, long time has been an organization that only cares about making money. Their interest in athletes is way down the line as to what they’re interested in. I think these great men and women should be able to at least have money to wash their underwear.”