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The Changing/Changed Professional Athlete


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#1 hamluis

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:29 AM

Every so often I initiate a topic here in Gen Chat to express some thoughts/feelings that some may never consider.  Today...I think I have somethoughts on the fraudulent manner in which professional athletes are routinely portrayed/viewed/controlled...and the steps taken by some atheletes recently to move out of the confinement which media, owners, and fans...attempt to keep them.

 

For those of us who are NOT professional athletes...life is a series of gambles, decisions, and attempts to achieve our personal goals.  That may include (and routinely does include) changing jobs...relocating for better occupational opportunities...realizing that yesterday's complacency or satisfaction...may be easily replaced by tomorrow's aspirations for "more."  More freedom, more money, more personal happiness...than was produced by yesterday's choices.

 

In today's world...such have always been successful denied in the world of professional sports.  Players on some team sports...were routinely denied the opportunity of leaving the potentially less-than-desireable environment in which they had been born...via the setup of "territorial draft choices" and such.  These benefitted questionable management structures...but they did not necessarily benefit the athlete who aspired to get out of the box he was born into.

 

In addition to such practices...there has always been the power to influence public opinion...held by "sports writers" and "the media." (anyone without a clue about a given sport who manages to find himself or herself with a microphone in hand and a camera focused on her/him.  "The media" pull the strings which make them seem more knowledgeable and more important than they really are.  More time on camera means more advertisements which can bought and sold...nevermind the responsibility which ought to be there...the responsibility of actually reporting and informing the public about the good...and the bad...of professional sports.

 

I hear the term "loyalty" used by many when trying to stifle the choices which now are available to some professional athletes who desire to perform their craft...their trade...somewhere other than where they were last year, last week, yesterday.  We all know that there is no "loyalty" when it comes business.  Business is business.  The terms of the employment contract...are the only rules which determine anything...and those contracts are developed specifically in favor of the employer.  Fulfillment of that contract...is what the employee "owes" the employer.  That is what the employee is obligated to render.  When/if that contract expires...it's negotiation time for a new contract, be it for someone who is a doctor, lawyer, laborer, soldier...and anything else that can be construed to be nothing but employment.

 

This year, this week...I have seen two NBA players defy the status quo which "the media" use to govern public opinion...about the employees which are known as "professional basketball players in the NBA."  Kevin Durant and Dwayne Wade (use Google to look them up if you don't know who they might be) emerged from the controls which have existed for years...and, upon conclusion of their employment contracts, they have chosen to leave the organizations they represented last year...and migrate to a different organization, a different employer.

 

And, of course, "the media" would have us all believe that this is some form of "disloyalty", "selfishness", anything but what it actually is.  It's freedom of choice, of course, a phrase which we all love to give lip service to...but which many of us are fearful of...because freedom of choice contradicts every effort which we make to control the actions and thoughts...of another.

 

Yes, thoughts.  A typical employment situation for us typical/normal nobodies...usually doesn't bother with our thoughts.  Obediance is enough for the typical employment scenario.

 

But not in the world of sports, certainly not with a useless bunch of clowns who pride themselves on being "the media"...trying to establish an empire of control which fools human beings into thinking that "the media" is anything but another means of controlling public opinion and maintaining the rights of "ownership" which extend to the employer of National Basketball Association owners/general managers, and so forth.

 

I used to be an accountant...I changed employers any time that I wanted to, for whatever reason I thought feasible, and I was never villified or accused of "disloyalty" when I exercised my rights as one of the nameless/faceless "employed."  I was free to move to a new location and/or a new employer...or even a new activity/profession/job...whenever I felt, as long as I was acting within the terms of my contract.

 

I think that NBA players should at least have the same "rights/privileges" that I and the majority of the U.S. workforce have...without the unnecessary categorization of their actions as anything but...another man who has been told that he is free and who wants to exercise some of the attendant privileges of being "free", at least as free as the lowest-paid worker is...in the U.S.

 

Kudos to Kevin Durant and Dwayne Wade.

 

And there are those who will assert "but they make so much money, there is an investment in them"...utter nonsense.  Have you never left an employment opportunity for one which paid more...or provided a better climate to work in?  Has it not occurred  to you to ask...what does the amount of money he/she makes...have to do with anything but the contract?  An investment...is that which we put time/money into...because it is expected to attain a value above and beyond what we put into it.  Every investment made by anyone...is self-serving, be it time or money, be it done by NBA ownership or T-Bills.

 

Let's allow more NBA (and other) professional athletes...the opportunity to change their lives...in the same manner that each of us "nameless/faceless nobodies" do.

 

Louis



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#2 DeimosChaos

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 12:31 PM

Unfortunately sports players will always be more highly scrutinized than your regular working citizen. Sure they deserve to go where they think is best for them, and I honestly have no issue with it. I think a lot of times people get so caught up in their sport, especially when their city is so entrenched in that sport, that they forget these athletes are people and need to make decisions based on what is best for them.

 

Now having said that.... I am a huge Dwyane Wade and Miami fan. I am utterly sad and disappointed that Wade isn't staying with the team he was drafted with, the team he won 3 championships with, the team that helped make who he is today. It did seem like tensions were a bit high between Wade and the Heat, and it kind of carried over from last year during free agency. I have no idea what Pat Riley was ever thinking through the process, maybe he knew that it was time to let Wade walk (he is getting up there for pro basketball, and has had knee issues throughout the years) and start a rebuilding process, maybe he didn't want him to go elsewhere but didn't handle it right. Who knows.
Any which way I still wish Wade the best of luck in his hometown of Chicago (even though I'll be rooting that Miami crushes them 3 or 4 times in the coming year :) ).

 

Kevin Durant... yeah I could care less he went to GSW. Good for him I guess, maybe a little cheap since he joined the team that beat him instead of him getting it done this next year. But still, his life so he can do as he sees fit.

 

Should be a fun year of basketball though!


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#3 Condobloke

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:10 PM

That issue of 'loyalty'......is closely linked to "guilt trip"

 

In other words, when a sportsman or woman has been with a club for some period of time the phrase is used..."the team is what made him who he is today"....I beg to differ....the Player is what made the team what they are today. The team is made of individuals and without those separate individuals the team is nothing but an empty locker room.


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#4 DeimosChaos

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 01:37 PM

I don't completely agree.... I think it goes both ways. The team helped develop and grow a young player. But it is the hardwork and motivation of that player to actually improve. Teams have very very extensive training programs. Without those programs and years of experience it would be tough for an athlete to gain that valuable knowledge when they first enter a league. Again goes both ways I think...

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