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It's Time to Give Professional Athletes Stakes in Their Teams

Want to keep stars from leaving small-market franchises? Makes them part-owners.

Political analyst Niko House discusses why the idea of giving players equity is gaining traction across professional sports. He thinks if these sports organizations offered ownership stakes, players would not be leaving them for better offers. They would "have control over their stocks," House said, adding that he believes the NBA will be the first league to adopt the idea.

“They've met in the middle right now,” House said. “Odell Beckham Jr. signed his contract in Bitcoin to make up for the difference ‘cause he was injured for so long, people didn't know if he was still talented. He got that idea from another NFL player actually, who signed a minimum deal ‘cause he was like an average player, and I think the contract ended up flipping to 50 million.”

By offering players financial stakes in the company, House said, they could have greater control over these large organizations.

“For example, Kaepernick—prior to when he went to the Super Bowl—got a big stake because of how successful he was. And then that situation happens, and now the team is like, ‘Well, we actually agree with Kaepernick. So either you're gonna play him and let him protest peacefully, like the first amendment guarantees, or we'll drop the stock down. We don't care; we have our contract,’” House said.

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House said when he discusses the NFL, he tries to “keep it real with people,” noting the history of the NFL trying to dissuade black ownership.

“There's been significant efforts to even keep black owners from becoming a thing in the NFL,” House said. “But on the other side of that fence, what do we do about it? What has been done about it? I feel like there should be more done within the NFL, and, of course, they keep them divided in various ways—which is generally how indentured service kind of works, unfortunately.”   

Watch the full interview: