Name, image, likeness added to separate Ohio bill with transgender athlete amendment

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — On Thursday, the Ohio House passed an amended bill to allow student athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness. The added amendment will ban transgender athletes from playing women’s sports.

The amendment passed the House with a 57-36 vote. Under the original bill, colleges and universities would be banned from preventing student-athletes to get compensated for their name, image and likeness.

“They [student-athletes] would be absolutely at a disadvantage if we don’t get this done,” said Republican State Representative Niraj Antani of Miamisburg.

Thursday, the senate voted to add NIL to HB 29, bypassing the amended version. That version would now have to get approved by the house.

“Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the House is going to take that up, so right now I’m pursuing variety of different pathways to ensure student-athletes have these rights,” said Niraj.

The senate unanimously passed HB 29 to include name, image, and likeness. With the amendments it grants veteran ID cards to uniformed service members, legalizes sports betting in Ohio, and allows Ohio student-athletes to earn money from their name, image, and likeness.

In a statement about the debate, Governor DeWine said, “This issue is best addressed outside of government, through individual sports leagues and athletic associations, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association, who can tailor policies to meet the needs of their member athletes and member institutions.”

In response to the transgender portion of the bill, Niraj said, “I’m a co-sponsor of the State Women’s Sports Act in the Senate but right now I’m focused on making sure student-athletes have rights to their name image and likeness by July 1.”

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