One of the most clever (because of its radicalism) strategies of William Lloyd Garrison and the abolitionists was the adoption of the rallying cry: No Union With Slaveholders
Its radicalism was as simple as it was breathtaking: The free states should simply secede from the Union and establish a free commonwealth where slavery would be forever illegal and there would be as national policy (unlike both the original Constitution and the Fugitive Slave Acts) would be non-cooperation with slaveholders.
That’s what I want to unveil (sort of again) today as we again take on the sports imperialism of por athletes in the Olympic Games. By making the Games largely the province of larger and more prosperous nations, probably to help ensure TV ratings in those nations, especially the US, it skews the competition so that there are few if any chances for a medal for smaller and less prosperous nations. This is what I call “Sports Imperialism”. The worst offender is the USA Basketball team/program.
So today I say: No rooting for sports imperialists! If a sports has pro athletes in it, simply decline to watch the events. Or even root for the team. The USA Basketball Team is hardly representative of the American people. Examine these articles, starting with this headline from this ESPN article:
Jerry Colangelo: ‘We don’t want to embarrass’ players via roster cutdown
No, let’s save the embarrassment for the teams from other sovereign nations not large or rich enough to have an effective pro hoops program. Remember the Nigeria game in 2012? If I had an apology tour to give I’d start in Serbia for the 1999 bombing war started unconstitutionally and without cause and move quickly to Nigeria for this basketball score!
Of course I am sure the ratings were huge for games like that. And it gets worse – from the same article we have the possibility of two players (LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony) going for their fourth Olympic medal:
James and Carmelo Anthony would become the only American men in history to participate in four Olympic basketball tournaments if they both make it to Rio.
How many Olympic medals do they get? And this is two or three times for Duke Coach Krzyzewski to coach the national team? Who does not get to coach their national team? It is almost like titles of nobility.
Consider this article:
USAB managing director Jerry Colangelo, meanwhile, tells ESPN.com that next month’s camp will actually serve as more of a “reunion” for various players who have worked under Colangelo and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski in the past two Olympic tournaments and the past two world championship-level events. As opposed to the full-scale practices and the intrasquad scrimmage that Team USA would typically hold in preparation for a major competition, Colangelo said Tuesday that next month’s gathering will instead feature two days of noncontact workouts and “an all-star game of sorts” on Aug. 13 that will feature the various marquee players in attendance who are healthy enough to play.
The sports imperialists have become arrogant and blatant as shown by this quote from this article:
Colangelo insists that the lighter nature of the on-court work planned for this minicamp is not a byproduct of what happened to George, saying there is “no reason to have the competitive camp that we normally have when we don’t have any competition to prepare for.”
Is there any way to read this to say other than arrogance? Either the US team has already been decided in advance regardless of on the field merit or that they will win no matter what. You have to do more than just wear the USA jersey to represent your nation. This team is not representative of the American people – chosen behind closed doors with no competition from a handful of rich pro NBA players so we can crush the opposition – athletes who represent their nation in a better way than we do. All for TV ratings. Is it right? To ask the question is to answer it. Where are Trotskyist city councilwomen and socialist US Senators when you need them?
No rooting for sports imperialists!
Instead root for sports like fencing that do not have pro athletes or for small, tiny nations who seldom if ever win a medal of any sort. And to paraphrase another famous historical slogan from US history: Not one cent for the USOC or the IOC until they get rid of pro athletes. Instead give the money to a sport like curling or fencing or a deserving local amateur Olympic hopeful.
Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders