So D. Wade and Ray Allen think Olympic athletes should be paid for their services, I couldn't agree more. Whenever a millionaire black says anything about compensation, the stigma of the ungrateful greedy black male athlete rises up right on cue. Even when arguing with billionaire owners, the players who generate the money are the ones whom it is perceived are letting their greed cause the games disruptions, and cheating the fans. So NBA Olympians are greedy, I'm pretty sure they don't get a percentage of jersey sales or any cut of NBC ad revenue. But critics will say they should do it for the love of country, for deep rooted patriotism, for the good ol USofA.
But those same people forget Jesse Owens 4 gold medals in the '36 Olympics didn't protect him from potential lynching, and definitely sent a political message to Hitler and his theory of Aryan dominance. What about Ali 24 years later coming back home to America after winning Olympic gold, and not being treated like a man let alone an Olympic hero. Wearing proudly across his chest the name of the country that routinely beat, humiliated, dehumanized, and killed his people while he fought for American excellence. Thus his medal was thrown into the Ohio river. 8 years later Tommy Smith and John Carlos, on the track and field winners platform, donned one black glove each from the same pair to make a statement against human rights violations, I wear a shirt with the famous photo from '68 and I still get negative looks 40 years later. Imagine what they went through. Tommy Smith said it best "If I won I'm an American, if I do something deemed bad I'm just a negro, Black America will understand what we did tonight".
That's only three cases of black athletes showing patriotism above and beyond the level of treatment they received from their home nation. Yet some are still seen in some circles as, arrogant self centered trouble makers, and in one case a draft dodger. Aside from testing ones skills against the rest of the world I don't even see the benefit of Olympic competition from the professional athletes perspective. The sports talking heads say players like Wade and Allen should be proud to have USA across their heart, and anything less is spitting in Lady Liberty's face. Generally black sports talk guys swing the conversation back to the money which perpetuates the greedy argument, not that its wrong, but its the jab. The Right Cross is the level of patriotic sacrifice made by black Olympic athletes over time, in the face of inhumane conditions at home.
So yes, all USA Olympians should be paid, amateur or not. These athletes are labeled as the best of the best, and in no other forum do amateurs in any field reign supreme. Swimmers, track and field, archers and gymnasts need funding, if NBC and the USOC gets paid, why not the people who make it possible to generate the revenue in the first place. They say NBA players benefit through a rise in popularity at home through Olympic play. I think Christian Laettner and Clyde the Glides USA basketball jersey sales tell a different story. Its a tough position to be in, if players don't play for the USA for reasons of fairness, the media will label them unpatriotic and say its all about the money. Also if this isn't fair, what was all of the problems ALI and Jesse Owens went through, is there a name for something lower than unfair? This is a stand for something moment, Our Olympic heroes made the stand in the past, now today's guys cant let them down, and fall for anything.