"What about what's good for the athletes?" - Michael Johnson hits out at NIL critics

Michael Johnson supports the NCAA
Michael Johnson supports the NCAA'S NIL law

Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic gold medalist and eight-time World Champion, recently fought back against critics of the NCAA’s NIL law. Johnson, widely considered to be one of the best track and field athletes of all time, is one of the most prominent voices to speak out in support of the law.

NIL, which stands for Name, Image, Likeness, is a way for collegiate athletes to protect their rights and earn money off of their brand. According to a policy implemented by the NCAA in 2021, NIL allows student-athletes to monetize their name and fame. This could include selling merchandise, making paid appearances, speeches, and more.

With many college sports like football and gymnastics enjoying a vast fan following, the implementation of the NIL policy has resulted in hefty profits for the top athletes of each discipline. However, many viewers and sports enthusiasts have expressed their dissatisfaction with the new rules, citing the possibility of distractions for the athletes.

Speaking out in support of the NIL, Michael Johnson recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to hit back at a critic of the rule.

The original post read,

“To anyone who thinks NIL and no sitting out in the transfer portal is good for college sports… I give you the death of bowl season. Something really cool has been ruined. Congrats “player empowerment” folks. This is on you.”

To this, Johnson replied,

“What about what’s good for the athletes?

Michael Johnson's career highlights

Michael Johnson is one of the best-known and most respected athletes in the sport of track and field. The American used to race for Texas’ Baylor University team in his collegiate years and went on to achieve monumental success in his career.

The sprinter’s first World Championships gold came in 1991 when he raced to the top of the podium in the 200m event. While health issues led to a dip in his performance in the 200m sprint at the 1992 Summer Olympics, he did manage to win his first gold at the event in the 4x400m relay.

In 1993, Johnson won both the 400m and 4x400m relay at the World Championships. He upped himself a couple of years later when he walked away with the gold in the 200m, 400m, and 4x400m relay in 1995 at Gothenburg.

In 1996, Michael Johnson became the first male athlete to win gold in the 200m and 400m at the same Olympics. He later defended his 400m title at the Sydney Olympics.

Edited by Vaishnavi Iyer
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