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Congressman Says NBA Age Limit "Vestige of Slavery", Wants it Abolished

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By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on June 04, 2009 2:59 PM

If Tennessee congressman Steve Cohen gets his way, the NBA's player age limit rule will be a thing of the past. The New York Times reports that Cohen has written a letter to the NBA asking and the players union asking them to rescind their rule barring anyone under the age of 19 from playing in the league.

There wasn't much holding back, as far as rhetoric is concerned, per the NYT article:

"'It's a vestige of slavery,' Cohen said Wednesday in a phone interview, noting that most of the players affected by the rule are African-American. 'Not like the slavery of 150 years ago, but it's a restraint on a person's freedoms and liberties.'"

Well, he did dial it back a little bit there at the end. But setting aside heated language and claims of racism, some do argue that "trapping" kids in college for a year and having them play for free (while the NCAA rakes in cash from their performance and the NBA has a farm system), smacks of unfairness. Needless to say, it was probably even worse for Cohen to find out that NBA Commissioner David Stern wants to extend the age limit up to 20....

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