Dwyane Wade, member of the 2012 USA Olympic basketball team, believes that NBA stars deserve to receive payment when playing in the Olympics. This has stirred up controversy due to the fact that people feel as if representing your country in the Olympics is a patriotic act that is a reward in itself. To clarify his comments, he stated on his Twitter account:
“I’m reading a lot of reports coming out about my comments re: the Olympics and compensation. And I want to clear this up personally [...] I responded 2 a specific question asked by a reporter on my thoughts of Olympians being paid. I never asked to be paid to PLAY [...] 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.”
Dwyane told reporters “I do not want to be paid to go to the Olympics,” but according to Twitter posts he feels that he’s good enough to be paid for it. While receiving negative feedback for his comments regarding his lack of content with pride as a primary motivation to play, USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo depicted various reasons for not monetarily compensating players.
“All of the money that is generated from our participation and the competitions the senior teams participate in in effect subsidizes and pays for the entire U.S. Olympic (basketball) programs and that includes all of the junior programs where most of these players came from,” Colangelo said. “Most of them all started there, men and women.”
Colangelo took over as chairman of USA Basketball in 2005 following a substandard bronze-medal performance by the men’s team at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Not only did the team need direction with management, coaching, and player selection – it needed financial help.
“When I took over the program in 2005, they were in a terrible losing situation financially,” Colangelo said. “During the next four years, I quadrupled the revenue, but that only brought us to break even. That covers all of the expenses for the men, women, boys and girls, all the way down. We sell sponsorship, sell tickets to exhibition games.” He went onto say:
“The opportunity to represent your country is a privilege without anything further said, that’s No. 1. No. 2, the experience broadens individuals in every regard and every respect because you experience things you would not have under any other circumstance — the travel, the people you meet. Thirdly, the brand. We will live in a global economy. All of our players have shoe contracts and apparel contracts and they’re little mini-business onto themselves and in some cases, they’re not mini-businesses, they’re quite substantial. Participation is a privilege that gives their brands a great impetus and most of them really, truly understand that.”
What are your thoughts on offering monetary compensation to Olympic athletes such as Dwyane Wade?
Source: USA Today