James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Traitor?

In 2004, I recall Jay Mariotti on his Chicago radio show questioned Shaquille O'Neal's for not playing in the Olympics, costing Team USA the gold. Never mind that he had already played for the team in '96, that it is positively decent to give younger players a chance to play in the Games, and that after a grueling NBA season an athlete in his 30's could break down if he had to play in the summer as well.

And now, the coach of the U.S. Women's team is calling Becky Hammon a "traitor" for choosing to play for Russia in the games.

I do not understand this mentality, and find it utterly contemptible. I don't know all the reasons Hammon chose to play for Russia, but I respect it. I know I wouldn't want to represent the USA in this day and age. With a war criminal in the White House, Olympic athletes invited to do photo-ops at the Rose Garden, and the likelihood to be hated and booed by the international audience in Beijing, playing for the U.S. would likely be a joyless experience.

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