It's not that I don't like the idea of them representing their countries. If the Olympics were truly a nationalistic endeavor built on sport and part of the public domain, I would be willing to take risk and support their playing. What I don't like is that we lie to ourselves and pretend that the Olympians represent our country. They don't. They have taken relatively low paying jobs working for the Olympics, who in turn sell the broadcast and marketing rights for billions of dollars in profits, all the while creating enormous risk for those of us who pay them for their day jobs that
support their families. It's amazing how players who are free agents won't
participate, but those with guaranteed contracts will. I hate the fact that we
lie to ourselves and pretend this is about representing country. It's not. It's about money.
Really Mark? It's all about the money? Tell that to the athletes participating in swimming, or rowing, or kayaking, or gymnastics, or weightlifting, or the field events, or the scores of other Olympic sports that yield essentially no shot at stardom or endorsement? Maybe you ask them why they train so hard, for so long. Is it all about the paltry bonus money they get from the USOC? Is it about the 5 minute spot they get on Good Morning America the day after? Why do so many athletes cry when they see their country's flag raised to the rafters? Are those the tears of joy at the prospect of financial freedom?
So Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki rely on your paychecks to them to support their families? Maybe Latrell Sprewell is right - he does need a multi-million dollar contract to put food on the table. I'm sure that both Dirk and Kidd can not take another cent from you and support their families just fine. But what you should be more concerned about are those vendors, concessionaires and stadium workers at Americas Airlines Arena who are worried about how to pay the gas bill driving to work for their wages, and how to put food on the table for their families - before you grow concerned about the "enormous risk" of Dirk and Kidd playing basketball in the offseason. (What, you'd rather the two of them sit on the couch and watch Oprah all summer?)
You should be ashamed of yourself Mark - sometimes it helps to run your words through that filter called your brain before letting it out. Or maybe that is the problem.