The Summer Olympics, in London, are only about two months away, and the United States basketball team is poised for gold.
However, there has recently been controversy surrounding the USA basketball team. Star guard of the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, have both found themselves in controversy involving Team USA.
People were very surprised when Wade made some risky comments on the Olympics. The star usually says the right things and plays the game the right way. This time though, he had a wrong choice of words.
According to ESPN, Wade said, “It’s a lot of things you do for the Olympics — a lot of jerseys you sell. 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.”
Wade is far from being right when it comes to being compensated for being on Team USA. What the star needs to realize, is that being an Olympian is a privilege and an honor.
As fans, Americans take the Olympics for granted. The Olympics is one of the biggest events in history. Not just sports history, but history as a whole.
The Olympics have seen some amazing feats. Athletes battle to represent their countries.
Certain countries rely on victory immensely with their athletes, causing a ridiculous amount of pressure. The United States has seen Jesse Owens break five records and equal a sixth, with Adolf Hitler watching during the Nazi regime, at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Then in 1968, at the Summer Olympics, African American USA athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raised their fists on the podium as a “human rights salute.”
When Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, ripped the Olympics, it wasn’t much of a surprise. The owner is one of the most outspoken men in all of sports, and this may have been one of his worst comments.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Cuban said, “If you look up stupid in the dictionary you see a picture of the USA Dream Team playing for free for corporate America so the U.S. Olympic Committee can make billions of dollars. So if you come up with something that you own that you can give to me for free so I can make billions of dollars, I want it.”
Cuban needs to shut his mouth, and hope his team can win a few games in the playoffs.
Now, back to Miami’s star Wade. His comments may be wrong, but coming from a player, they are reasonable. This NBA season was shortened to 66 games, due to the lockout of the offseason, which made the games get crammed into the same schedule as the usual 82 game season. The gold-medal game, scheduled for Aug. 12, is about only a month before many NBA players resume working out to get ready for training camp in September or early October.
Wade argues that since Nike sells so many Team USA jerseys, the players deserve money. Well Mr. Wade, you are being paid $12 million as a Nike brand representative a year. Hopefully that’s enough of a chunk of change to make Wade happy. Also, the Olympic Committee gives players of the winning team, $25,000 each and let’s be honest, if Team USA doesn’t win gold, it will be one of the biggest upsets in Olympics history.
After seeing how his comments stirred controversy, Wade went to Twitter to apologize.
“BUT my love 4 the game & pride 4 USA motivates me more than any $$$ amount. I repped my country in 2004 when we won the bronze medal and stood proudly to receive our gold medal in 2008 in Beijing. It’s always been an honor for me to be a part of the USA Olympic family…and I’m looking forward to doing it again in London this summer.”
The Olympics will have the best athletes, representing their country to the fullest. This is a privilege, not a paycheck.