Sen. Richard Burr Under Fire for Suggesting that Student-athletes Pay Taxes on Scholarships

Many members of the legislature have active social media handles which they use to communicate with the grassroots. Sen. Richard Burr is one of them. The senator, who controls his Twitter handle, came under fire on the microblogging app yesterday after he suggested that students who have athletic scholarships should be taxed. His proposition about how the United States government should treat student-athletes who receive scholarship didn’t go well with his Twitter followers.

Sen. Richard Burr Receives Twitter Backlash

It all started when the board of governors at the NCAA passed a bill that would allow college athletes to receive compensation for their “image, likenesses and names”. This move would allow athletic students to afford more privileges even if they are still students. In response to the new rule, Burr said; “If the NCAA is going to allow college athletes to make good money because of their likenesses then their scholarships should be viewed as income. I will soon introduce a bill that requires all student-athletes to pay taxes on their scholarships.”

Less than one hour after Burr posted the tweet, over 6000 people had commented and most of these comments were negative. One of the Republicans who has been fighting hard to give student-athletes more benefits is Rep. Mark Walker. He quickly responded to Burr’s tweet stating that students can’t be taxed on their scholarships because they are not employees. In Walker’s words; “If you tax scholarships then it means these athletes are employees and not students. It’s not about income. These student-athletes have basic rights just like any American with a name.”

Sen. Richard Burr was a student-athlete back in the days when he was in college. He played football in the 1970s but stopped in 1976 after suffering a severe knee injury. Later, he resumed for a year in 1977 but stopped entirely after that.

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