Tuck: Wade Backs Off Olympics Payday

“It’s a lot of things you do for the Olympics, a lot of jerseys you sell…Just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it’s not there. But I think it should be something, you know, there for it.”

My first reaction was D-Wade is absolutely entitled to his opinion on the matter.  I also believe that Olympians should not be paid and if Wade doesn’t want to go, then he shouldn’t.  America has plenty of basketball players to take his place.

Wade continued, “The biggest thing is now you get no rest. “So you go to the end of the season, [Team USA] training camp is two weeks later. You’re giving up a lot to do it. It’s something you want to do. But it’s taxing on your body. You’re not playing for the dollar. But it would be nice if you would get compensated.”

Again, I understand it’s a grind.  I think I speak for most Americans when I say I appreciate his efforts and sacrifices to try to win a gold medal for our country.  But if you can’t do it, or don’t want to do it, then don’t.  I wouldn’t be mad at him.

Later on Twitter, Wade clarified his thoughts to his followers: “What I was referencing is there is a lot of Olympic business that happens that athletes are not a part of – and it’s a complicated issue.”

“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.”

I have no issue with Wade asking that Olympians get paid.  I have no issue with anyone suggesting college athletes get compensated either.  I just disagree on both accounts.

I can see where Wade got little sympathy as a millionaire player asking for more money to do something others dream about and do for free.  He is lucky he isn’t LeBron James, because if he was he’d never hear the end of it.  Instead, he backtracked quickly, and put the fire out in a day.

I actually am more bothered that he took back what he said.  If he believes it, then he should say it and stick with it.  A lot of people suggest they should be paid or paid more to do whatever it is that they do.  It doesn’t make them wrong or greedy.  Wade knows his value.  He understands his marketability and his importance to both team USA and the networks trying to sell commercials to watch him and his teammates.  As he says, it does compare to college sports.

He does have an advantage over those kids though.  He can make money off his appearance.  The products he pushes can take advantage of his celebrity on a world-wide stage and he can make money off of it.  The star QB or PG in college can’t.

So, sorry D-Wade, I am not on board with your idea of getting paid, because I don’t think any Olympics athlete should be.  But they all can, like you, take advantage of their success in the games to make money.