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For Love Of Country: Olympics Pay to Play?
And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget those who died who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land.
God bless the USA!
Last week Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen made mention of possibly getting compensated for their work as Olympians in this year’s London Summer Olympics. Both went on to further say it was an honor, but did they have a point about compensation for their appearances in the Olympics?
“It’s a lot of things you do for the Olympics — a lot of jerseys you sell,” Wade said after the Heat’s practice on Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s game against Chicago. “We play the whole summer. I do think guys should be compensated. Just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it’s not there. But I think it should be something, you know, there for it.”
As the above song suggest there is a certain honor for representing our country. Hell in some countries one could get killed for even suggesting such!
However there is honor and prestige in being chosen to represent our country once every four years. Firstly you were chosen because you are considered the best of thousands in your particular sport. Remember when we had college kids playing and they got spanked more often than not until the invention of the Dream Team.
These athletes represent our country, are ambassadors for us and our way of life, and in basketball particularly they set the standard for skilled basketball and how it has progressed. People from all countries watch our Dream Teams play. They love the star studded line ups, they love the dunks, the high flying aerodynamics, and the carefully crafted plays that make American basketball so very popular internationally. It is very hard to find those who feel pity for Wade or Allen who make millions every year.
In addition to being selected, being the best in their respective field; they receive accolades from their fellow countrymen, other countries, they go into the history books, and they play for the right to say America is #1! They lift that flag high above them and wave it with pride as our national anthem plays in the background. If they win gold medals they also get a $25,000 stipend and the medal to keep and show off. No other American gets this privilege every four years. Only these chosen few get these honors.
As well as playing for pride, honor, and that nice stipend, they get endorsements and are accommodated in many more ways than your average Olympian. They have it pretty good compared to the others representing Team USA.
So what you have to give up time and may be weary from the season. No one forced you to do it. Enjoy the Olympics and the free trip to London! As LeBron James said, it is an honor and quite fun as well. The privilege to play on a dream team is an once-in-a-lifetime event for some. It is unique and very few can say they had such an honor.
Maybe in our culture the word honor has become associated with compensation. However I think we need to revisit that word and its true definition. Maybe ask a military person what honor and valor mean to them and remember what it is to serve your country in whatever way is asked of you.
For The Love Of Money –Bizarro Wonder Woman has something to say!
Hold on WW! Yes I am have a few things for you to think about on the subject.
Many of these players were high-jacked pre NBA. They were making money for other entities like the NCAA, all the while not being compensated for making those colleges big bucks off the sweat of their hard work.
The sponsors get a lot of loot too! Everything in Olympics is endorsed by some company. Nike, Adidas, Subway even finds a way to get paid off the Olympic celebs and their work and their fame. Dream Team jerseys go for a lot of money these days. What of that goes back to the player whose name is on that jersey? He is the one that made the jersey valuable! Everyone gets a piece of the pie so why shouldn’t they? They dedicate their time and possible off season earning potential to do this so why shouldn’t they see part of the earnings?
College athletes cannot get compensation and the NCAA is one of the biggest shills in town yet we let them make millions each year while student athletes get zilch! Yes even they get Olympic money. Everybody gets paid!
As Ray Allen pointed out if he is unavailable, his firm outsources his work. How is that fair? In the NBA there has been a shift in players. They were simply there to play the game, now we see these players as savvy businessmen and brands in addition to being athletes! Also think about the risks of playing such a long time. That intense labor to a human body can ruin a career or they can sustain an injury, possibly a career ending injury at that.
Sure honor is still meaningful, but if it is tainted, it is not by the hands of the athletes.
Show me the money!
Bizarro Wonder Woman