NBPA lawyer: Age minimum is hypocritical

1:10 | NBA
NBA Players Association lawyer says age limit is racially biased
Thursday March 5th, 2015

An attorney representing the National Basketball Players Association said at a sports law conference on Thursday that it is likely the union will take a "radically different position" than the league on the current age minimum in the next round of collective bargaining, according to the Associated Press.

Gary Kohlman, NBPA general counsel, suggested that the current rule is racially based. 

From the AP:

"If they were white and hockey players they would be out there playing. If they were white and baseball players they would be out there playing," Kohlman said. "Because most of them are actually African-American and are in a sport and precluded from doing it, they have to go into this absurd world of playing for one year.

"That's just total complete hypocrisy."

The league's CBA stipulates that players born in the United States must turn 19 in the same calendar year as the draft and be at least one year removed from the graduation of their high school class. 

The so-called "one-and-done" rule, implemented before the 2006 draft, has led many players to spend only one year in college before declaring for the draft.

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Baseball players who graduate high school are eligible to be selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. For the NHL, players must be 18 on September 15 of the year in which the entry draft is held.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has indicated he wants the age minimum raised to 20 from 19, saying last month that he thinks "it would be much better for the game." NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said that the rule is "not going to be two and done."

The CBA expires after the 2021 season, but the NBA and the union can opt out following the 2017 campaign.

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