Grievance: Pay Pro Athletes For the Olympics
I was reading an interesting article on FOX Sports this morning that mentioned some remarks given during an interview with Boston Celtics players Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. Rondo stated that he had no interest, even if selected, to play for the U.S. Olympic basketball team. His reasoning: “I love my summers. I’ll leave it at that”. Ray Allen believes that the Olympic committee should “find a way to entice the guys”. According to the report, he feels that the basketball players should be compensated for their time and the fact that they are losing other opportunities to make money while they are playing for the U.S.
First off, while it is a privilege and an honor to represent your country on the world’s biggest sports stage, it is Rajon Rondo’s right to wish not to play in the Olympics. If he simply just doesn’t want to make the committment after a grueling NBA season, that’s his prerogative and he should not have to explain or apologize for it. What I ABSOLUTELY have an issue with is the audacity of Ray Allen to quantify the opportunity of a lifetime to compete in the Olympics. If you don’t wish to play, then don’t.
This is one of the biggest things that pisses me off with a number of athletes. It’s all about what you didn’t get or what the organization is getting. Is the Olympic committee benefitting from jersey sales, YES! Is it any different from any other larger organization that benefits from volunteers, employees, etc? Plus, the U.S. medalists DO receive monetary awards! Compensation is about $25k, $15k and $10k for gold, silver and bronze medalists respectively. Let’s not forget all of the endorsement opportunities that will come your way.
What about the pride and self-accomplishment of standing on that podium, hearing the Star-Spangled Banner, and knowing that you have achieved arguably the greatest honor in ANY sport on planet Earth? How can you put a number on that? Why must everything always come back to millionaires fighting over a damn dollar?