Skip to main content

Green More Important Than Red, White, and Blue?

Courtesy: Harry How/Getty Images

Is there no pride in the United States anymore? Is there no pride in representing your country?

Those are questions I believe are hot topics as our society changes. Whether because social networking, technology, growing knowledge or the world beyond, or a sheer lack of respect by upcoming generations, pride in this nation seems to have become, dare I say, casual. Almost fashionable. It is to a point where we only have pride in the red, white, and blue when some major catastrophe happens, a dictator is captured, or when it is the Olympic games. However, I will say, we do come together pretty strong during those moments.

Still, the growing lack of pride and integrity in everything that is whole and right with the land of the free and the home of the brave is alarming.

Which is why when I came across the news blurb on stating that  Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen believe Olympic athletes should get paid, it ignited a fire to punch the keys.

As the 2012 Summer Olympics near, the issue for many of our professional athletes that represent our country of extending their usual calendar workload to include competing in the games arises. The human body needs rest. And these professional athletes' bodies are what earns them their living, their livelihood, and yes, their income.

This is the driving argument for Allen and Wade.

Further claims the two argued, which are very valid points, that Olympic duties take them away from personal endeavors such as camps (which are indeed huge income generating programs), charity functions, personal time, and as mentioned above, that valuable rest needed from the previous, and for the upcoming NBA season.

Both then went on to acknowledge the jersey sales and memorabilia which are made and sold off of their Olympic commitment, revenue which are never seen by the athletes. 

And finally, Allen and Wade feel the added monetary incentive would help entice more players to want to represent their country.

Wow.

I'm not dismissing their arguments at all, as part of this great nation and our society is free enterprise and the right to increase ones happiness through wealth.

And well, sports is indeed a business. We can't be naive to that.

However, when did representing our country need to come with monetary value?

When was wearing those initials, U-S-A, across your chest not enough?

When was being the very best in the world at what you do not enough?

There are athletes that make very little compared to Allen and Wade in other not-as-popular sports who still dedicate themselves, sacrifice, and give their talents to this nation. They are willing to do so under lesser circumstances (and in many cases, less luxurious ways) to simply to bring home a gold medal. 

I understand the modern athlete is now savvy to business ventures, but once again, seriously?

Without an Olympic stage, to which you, the modern athlete, have an opportunity to expand your "brand", monetary funds will not be possible. The money made through the Olympic channel for USA basketball goes directly to funding youth tournaments, programs, and grassroots programs across the nation.

But let me guess, those programs don't have your name on them and don't benefit you in any way, so it doesn't matter, right? 

I hope not.

And as far as feeling slighted because you have to give up rest, personal gain, and personal time to represent your country - I dare you to present that excuse to a member of our military.

And one last point, which Head of USA basketball, Jerry Colangelo,  repeatedly addressed in response to Allen and Wade's claims, "representing your country is a choice."

A choice!

A choice, many hold in high regard, honor, and prestige. 

Somewhere along the line, the color green became more important than red, white, and blue. 

Somewhere, somehow, we've lost site of that, have taken it for granted, and because of that, we've lost our pride, integrity, and passion for our country.

I would urge Allen, Wade, and those who agree with him to watch the scene from Miracle. A scene which gives me chills every time. Every. Single. Time.

In the scene, USA Hockey coach, Herb Brooks asks his players, "who do you play for?"

Each player responds with their respective collegiate team to which they are then summoned to complete numerous ragged sprints. After doing this multiple times, one student finally gets it, steps up, states his name, and says, "I play for the United States of America".


Priceless. It's a statement that has no value.

Then why are we attempting to place a price tag on it?

Recently Read Posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/22/22

3 Up 1. NY Times Investigative Series on Haiti - The history of Haiti is such a complex (and unfortunate) one. Really, it's a story that goes untold, specifically for the context of how the country is viewed. From being forced to pay operations to enslavers (yeah, you read that right), to so many other historical setbacks - including American interventions - the nation's history is so well laid out in this latest NY Times piece. I urge you to give it a read.  2. Equal Pay for US Women's Soccer Team - Kudos to US Soccer on coming around to giving the USWNT their due - equal pay for prize money from the World Cup. It's a start, and more importantly, it's a push forward for women's sports that do in fact push the needle in comparison, or more so, to their male counterparts.  3. Kate McKinnon - Random "UP" here, but I'm doing it anyway...A few SNL usuals are rumored to be walking away, including Kate McKinnon. The show obviously doesn't carry the

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/8/22

3 Up 1. Mother's Day - It's a day for mothers everywhere, and really, since becoming a dad, I've advocated that it should be an entire weekend. But ah well - Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there - past, present, and subbing in. And of course, Thank You!  2. NHL Playoffs - I've really gotten into hockey over the past two weeks, especially, the Rangers/Penguins series. Honestly, in my opinion, the Turner deal might just be the best thing the NHL has ever done. From the production to the in-studio crew, the product is immensely better - and easier to locate.  3. Pusha T - After over 20 years in the industry, rapper Pusha T finally landed a number 1 album with It's Almost Dry . Following a well-publicized battle with Drake, one in which he outed the mega-star for hiding his son (or you know, it was Drake just hiding the world from his son, yada yada), Pusha follows it up with a solid album, one that is a favorite of mine thus far in 2022. Kudos to Pusha. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/15/22

3 Up 1. California Church Heroes - It's soooooooo weird that the top spot is a result of something so horrific as our ongoing domestic terrorism problem of mass shootings. Still, the courage shown by the five members who stopped the shooter deserves it. Those individuals tackled the shooter and tied him up with an electric cord, while wounded.  It's so tough to fathom that those possibilities are within the realm of your Sunday worship, within the sanctity of your church.  But such is America... 2. Olivia Rodrigo & Drake - Rodrigo continues to reap rewards on an excellent album in 2021 as she topped the Billboard Music Awards with seven awards. There was also Drake who I'm beginning to sense we won't really appreciate his body of work until he's near the end of his career. But yeah, Drake poured in a few more for the legacy debates and discussions.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: All the Bright Places

What is it about?  Two troubled teenagers meet and change each other's lives for the better - working through their past, and their demons, the two find meaning in the smallest and simplest of places.  Who is in it?  Elle Fanning - Violet Markey Justice Smith - Theodore Finch