American’s can get citizenship elsewhere for sports but not for refuge status? 6

Perhaps I am the only one looking at the Edward Snowden situation in a slightly different light than “traitor” or “patriot”. How many times do we see athletes leaving their home countries to get citizenship in another country to join their athletics? The US national teams are often comprised of people who are naturalized citizens who came here when they were kids or teenagers. However, we have seen American born athletes who stand no chance at making the US Olympic team get citizenship to join another country in need of great athletes to compete in the Olympics.

Case in point, Chris Kaman,whose ancestors are German but he was born in the Untied States of America thus being an American citizen. Unfortunately Kaman didn’t have the discipline to make the US Olympic team as even a 12th man. Instead of accepting that there were better athletes on the US Olympic team he decided he wanted to be in the Olympics so bad that he’d forfeit American citizenship and play for Germany.

Another example would be an athlete that by all accounts got left of the US team due to some form of favoritism. Becky Hammon was runner up in the WNBA yet some how she wasn’t on the US Olympic team. How does that happen is my first question, but to stay on target here, this is another American citizen who is willing and able to cough up their citizenship to become a naturalized citizen and play for another country, Russia.

Rossi is another American born athlete that is playing for another country. Giuseppe Rossi is an American born soccer player form New Jersey who plays for the Italian national soccer team. While I cannot blame him for playing for a consistently dominant team like Italy, it’s another prime example of how easily it is to gain citizenship if you’re an elite athlete.

One may wonder why I care so much about American’s or other people turning over their citizenship to become a citizen of another country to become an athlete, the answer is I don’t care about that. Not at all. Do I consider you a sell out? Yeah, for the most part but who am I to judge. My problem is that it’s so easily done when it’s an elite athlete who has nothing to lose but everything to gain yet when a political refuge needs asylum to protect their life everyone backs away from the table and wants nothing to do with the situation.

Why is it so easy for athletes to get citizenship elsewhere to play sports, but it’s so hard for a political refugee to get protection? Thankfully countries like Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela, and Ecuador have opened the doors to Snowden. The sad part is, if Snowden was an elite athlete, every country would be opening their doors and practically begging him to come and represent their country.

We always wonder why athletics come before education in America, but it seems like athletic prowess is much more important than just education, and it isn’t just an American situation it’s a world situation. It’s a problem for the world when they’ll take in elite athletes but not a refugee who just disclosed that the United States government is indeed spying on the rest of the world. It’s like having someone come to your door step and say hey, this guy over here, he’s been stealing your money, your information, and stalking you for years. Wouldn’t you invite this guy in, give him a reward and show him some gratitude?
I bet if someone turns on Aaron Hernandez and exposes him (if he in fact did something) for what he did they would praise that person and probably give him a substantial reward. Why shouldn’t the world be doing the same thing for Edward Snowden? If we said hey, Zuckerburg has been pilfering all your information for as long as long as Facebook has been up and taking .1 cent for every transaction that is done on Facebook, don’t you think the world would be outraged and whoever the whistle blower was would get praised?

Why is it so easy for an elite athlete who only wants citizenship for personal gain can get that citizenship but someone who needs it for protection can’t get it form anyone besides the host countries biggest rivals/enemies?


6 thoughts on “American’s can get citizenship elsewhere for sports but not for refuge status?

  1. Reply TheLongTalk Jul 2, 2013 5:58 pm

    An elite athlete is an athlete, Snowden is a criminal.
    Like what he did or hate it, he wasn’t allowed to share that information.

    Maybe he should have been, maybe that information should have been public knowledge, but maybe doesn’t matter. He (no doubt) made a pledge or signed an agreement stating that he’d keep the secrets he was being given.

    He broke that pledge, promise, ignored that signed document. He’s in violation of a contract at the least, at the most he’s a traitor.

    Countries want elite athletes, they don’t want criminals or traitors.

    Should Snowden be considered a hero or a villain, is for each to decide on their own, but he’s certainly in violation of some law or oath.

  2. Reply Original6 Jul 2, 2013 6:34 pm

    So let me get this straight, the defense is that nobody wants a criminal yet the position is also that we all have to decide for ourselves that he is a criminal.

    “An elite athlete is an athlete, Snowden is a criminal…Should Snowden be considered a hero or a villain, is for each to decide on their own, but…”

    Lets just put aside personal bias against someone who is a whistle blower. For all intensive purposes our judicial system does say people are innocent until proven guilty. Did he break a contract, sure, people do it all the time, it doesn’t make you a criminal. So lets just leave those kinds of terms out of the statement and focus on the real issue here. Why are elite athletes anymore important than a political refuge?

    If Chris Kaman had blown a whistle on the New Orleans Pelicans for a human trafficking ring that they had facilitated through the bay, to Nola, and Houston, etc. would Germany still allow him to play for the German organization? I would be willing to bet they wouldn’t just want him to play for them they’d be painting him as a hero, someone who liberated slaves.

    Imagine if Becky Hammon blew the whistle on border patrol agents in North Dakota and exposed them of smuggling drugs across the border. Would Russia still want her to play on the Russian national team? Most likely.

    Here we have another whistle blower who has nothing to offer except for more damaging documents, and will certainly bring with him boycotts, possible embargoes etc. And the only reason nobody will bring him to their country is because a) the United States wants him for unveiling the US’s corrupt and illegally operating government and b) because the United States will try hurt an entire country just to get to one person.
    What does that tell anyone? The United States is willing to let innocent people pay the price for what a whistle blower did to expose the US government. Is that really the beacon of freedom and greatness the US proclaims to be?

    The US got beat at its own game because someone opted not to play by their rules. It shouldn’t be anything new to the US they’ve been getting their bums handed to them for over a decade in a game that they started and at a time perfected. Regardless, citizenship shouldn’t come any easier to an athlete than it does a political refugee who has yet to be found guilty in any courtroom.

  3. Reply TheLongTalk Jul 3, 2013 12:57 pm

    OK lets put aside personal bias. If we cannot say Snowden is a villain, we cannot call him a hero either. But “criminal” is indeed an accurate label, all bias aside.

    There is surely a law (although I cannot quote it) that requires government employees to maintain the secrets they have been given. Is that law just? To determine that would require personal bias, so we cannot say, but we can say that it must exists.

    If it does exist (which it must) and Snowden has broken it (which it appears he has) then he’s a criminal.

    So what does an employee of the government do when they feel laws are being broken by their government? When justice is outlawed, must the just become outlaws? Surely there is a system within the law for government whistle blowers. (Again I cannot quote the specifics, but it must exist.)

    There must be a procedure somewhere (no matter how ineffective or tainted) for government workers to report abuses. Snowden could have addressed his concerns with the NSA’s programs within that system.

    Perhaps making a report would have cost him something, maybe it would have been swept under the rug and nothing would have come of it. Maybe he has already tried official channels and they failed him.

    Still, dumping government secrets on the internet has to be against the law, which makes him a criminal, without personal bias having to enter into the equation.

    So establishing that Snowden is a criminal (which I believe I have) why would another country want him?

    An athlete that blew the whistle on a criminal enterprise within his organization could be called a hero and they most likely wouldn’t be breaking the law. Perhaps they would be violating some nondisclosure agreement (almost certainly they would be) but nondisclosures in private companies cannot forbid an employee from divulging criminal activities.

    A business cannot make it against the law to report their illegal activities. Governments right laws, businesses make rules and draft contracts. If an employee violates a contract that is different from a person breaking a law.

    An athlete or coach that reported illegal activity, like drug use or child abuse, would be for sure violating their nondisclosure, but they would not be breaking the law.

    A foreign country might want a rule breaking athlete, they might even want a law breaking one, because the pros would out way the cons (pun intended). But what is the upside of taking in a foreign criminal that is being hunted by the American government?

    If they believed him to be a hero, which would be a personal bias issue, then they might want to take him in. But personal bias aside, he’s a problem that has no solution and offers no upside.

    Elite athletes, movie stars, rich people, pretty people, celebrities, have upside. Foreign governments would weigh the up against the down before deciding to take any of them in, but Snowden has no upside. So he’s persona non grata at the moment.

    Elite athletes get a pass because they provide a resource that the country giving them the pass wises to gain. Just imagine the ability to dunk being like having oil pumping out their butts. They’re a natural resource.

    Snowden is a bunch of trouble, wrapped in problems, covered in lawsuits.

  4. Reply Original6 Jul 3, 2013 3:13 pm

    Well said/written, TLT.

    “An athlete that blew the whistle on a criminal enterprise within his organization could be called a hero and they most likely wouldn’t be breaking the law. Perhaps they would be violating some nondisclosure agreement (almost certainly they would be) but nondisclosures in private companies cannot forbid an employee from divulging criminal activities.”

    While I agree with you about employers not being able to draft agreements that make it illegal to blow the whistle on their illegal activities, I would have to counter and say the government shouldn’t have the right to draft an agreement that makes it illegal to report on their illegal activity either.

    Unless the laws are changed he hasn’t been convicted of any crimes yet, therefore he’s still not a criminal. Did he break a law? Possible. Did he break an agreement between himself and the government? Most definitely. That being said, since we want to hold contractors to the same oaths and allegiances that we hold our government to I would be shocked and floored if they didn’t take the oath to defend this country from enemies both foreign and domestic, and when that domestic enemy dresses up and sits behind a desk that has a name plate on it director of the FBI, director of the NSA, and President of the United States, it makes it awfully hard to go through any “proper channels”. And just because you cannot go through a proper channel, Snowden, has no right to back down. In fact he’s legally obligated to pull up his shit kicking boots and get neck deep in the shit to make sure that he fully defends his country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Is it a stretch to call the directors of the FBI, NSA, CIA, and the President himself an enemy of the United States? Maybe. It depends on who you ask. I would say they certainly aren’t doing the public any favors by lying to us point blank, and restricting our freedoms.

    Therefore, I find it hard to call Snowden a criminal when all he did was live up to his oath to defend this country from all enemies foreign and domestic. How can anyone literally look at the information he divulged and tell us that we the people did not deserve to know this, or did not have a right to know this information? The same way the police cannot come into my house and take my trash to filter through it, they cannot simply collect all of my metadata or my cell phone records, or my private browsing history and store it into their pools of data for their own use. It is highly illegal, and yet they did it, therefore the only real criminals here are the POTUS, and directors of the CIA,FBI,NSA and anyone else who cooperated with the PRISM project.

    Now that we have cleared up the fact who the real criminals are, we can say that Snowden is nothing more than a whistle blower who can offer at best counter intelligence information and techniques to a country that may need them. He would have been better suited to stay in Russia and work with the KGB, or in Hong Kong. And with that being said he does have something to offer besides a slide show (which only 4 slides have been shown so far, apparently he has 37 more to show).

    An athlete offers the ability to draw crowds, entertain people, potentially generate millions of dollars of revenue. Snowden can offer an upgrade in your spy department. In an ever evolving tech world, I would think it’s more important to have someone like Snowden than Chris Kaman.

    All things aside, Snowden has put himself in a tough spot by pissing off Putin, and the United States, and other countries are not really falling over themselves to offer this guy some sort of asylum. Not only does he need to get a country to grant him asylum, he needs other countries to let him fly over their airspace. A public airplane could easily be diverted to a country friendly to the US and Snowden could be black bagged, gagged, and taken to a CIA ghost prison to never be heard of again. Just because he went public doesn’t mean the government wont remove him from the face of the earth permanently. I’m sure if POTUS came out and said that he was found guilty of treason of which the penalty is death, and that was that, the American public would be half for it, half against it, pretty much like anything else and POTUS of course would rule and anyone who questions it wont be heard or listened to.

  5. Reply TheLongTalk Jul 3, 2013 4:02 pm

    Not sure that the talents Snowden offers are all that unique. Others could do what he does. Plus he’s shown himself to be untrustworthy with secrets, so I can’t imagine any other countries letting him look through their files.

    He’s a problem. There are some countries that might want to welcome America’s problems, but I understand why most wouldn’t want him.

    The governments over reach into private territory is, sadly, not limited to our internet or phone records. The scale of government intrusion is frightening, but the public seems to be OK with it.

    What isn’t labeled as, “No big deal.” is blamed on the last President and added to the pile of reasons some people didn’t like him. We’ve traded a degree of freedom for a higher degree (in our minds at least) of security.

    It’s a trade that’s often made only to be regretted when those freedoms aren’t returned once a threat has passed.

    It’s sorta like giving your car keys to a friends, cause you’ve had a little too much to drink… then having them keep your car forever.

  6. Reply Original6 Jul 3, 2013 4:49 pm

    I completely agree with you 100% that we as a country have slowly but surely handed over our freedoms for what would call “security”. Security from what I’m not quite sure. The media and government have done a great job creating this boogie man called “terrorists” as if they just some how came into existence. The media and the government play very nicely together to stay in power, and to stay wealthy.

    Ben Franklin is quoted as saying, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    If we are secure and have no freedoms, then what good is our life? If we are not free to carry out our life in the way we see fit, why even stay here? Surely there are other repressive regimes but at least they are open about it. The United States citizens live under this fog of war that we are some how free to do what we wish, and that our constitution, and bill of rights are relevant to the world we live in. However, as we have seen in the past 15-20 years is that our government little by little has enacted their own rulings, interpretations of law (whether by public court or private courts with sealed rulings)which have basically combated the constitution and our bill of rights as we know it.

    I would much rather live in a country that is at least blatantly in control and admits to taking our information, spying on us etc. at least they are honorable in the sense that they flat out tell you that they’re in control and you’re not free to do as you wish. Here people live under the illusion that all will be okay so long as you follow the documents that this country was founded on, but sadly that is no longer truth.

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