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Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Act gets signed into law

A father's push for protective legislation for student-athletes comes to fruition
Posted at 5:27 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 17:28:12-04

BALTIMORE — Major changes to how the state protects student-athletes are heading to Maryland

Tuesday afternoon, Governor Hogan signed the Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Act into law giving student athletes across the state certain health-related protections.

No one knows how significant the new law is more than Marty McNair and his family.

After the death of his son Jordan in June of 2018, he became an advocate for student-athlete rights and protections.

RELATED: University of Maryland release findings from investigation on Jordan McNair's death

RELATED: Jordan McNair's family honors legacy through advocacy

His son died 2 weeks after falling ill as result of a heatstroke on the football field.

His pain turned into passion and that passion turned into passing legislation after Del. Brooke E. Lierman and Sen. Justin Ready cosponsored the Jordan McNair Safe and Fair Act in Jordan's honor.

McNair says if he wanted to make a significant impact in advocating for student athletes it would take significant legislation and policy.

"This is a bill that protects student athletes from the perspective that no one sends their child away to college to be abused or worse from an adult," he told WMAR.

McNair is hopeful that when a student-athlete is exhausting him or herself--they have the right to speak up for themselves...something athletes were hesitant to do on their own before there was a law to back them up

"Health and wellness is primary. If a child gets hurt or a student athlete gets hurt and they're not ready to come back to play, they don't have to come back to play," he added.

The other component of the same bill gives student athletes the ability to profit off of their name, image or likeness, something McNair fully stands behind as well outlining strict NCAA guidelines that limit student athletes from developing their own skills simply because they compete on the college level.

He says the new law serves as a crucial component in his work to level the playing field for athletes

"If I want to go out here and pursue something on the side, I can still go out here and get compensated for that without fear of any type of penalty from or fear from losing my scholarship or something like that," said McNair.

For parents who want to learn how to use this new law to protect them and their student athletes, the McNair’s are hosting their Second Annual Jordan McNair Health and Wellness Sports Clinic coming up on July 5, 2021.

For more information about the clinic, click here.