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?