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USA Basketball: Should the men’s team be awarded special treatment?

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The men’s USA basketball team has decided to stay on a luxury cruise boat docked at the port in Rio instead of The Olympic Village with the rest of the athletes. While this may be big news to some, it’s the way of life for the rich and famous. But how should other athletes feel?

It depends on who you ask. Who’s footing the bill for this, is it the players or The US Olympic Committee? If the players are fronting the bill, then they should be allowed to do as they please but if the USA is paying it poses an issue of sorts. There is no secret that Team USA is the big draw this summer, as they are every four years. In America, they are swarmed with autograph seekers, groupies and thirsty businessmen looking for a new sponsor. They have nowhere to hide as their nearest hotel or home may be easy to find and gain access to. In Rio, security is a tad tighter which can give the players a bit more breathing room.

If the funds are coming out of the player’s pockets then what’s the big fuss, these guys are millionaires and are used to a certain lifestyle. It’s hard to go from the Waldorf Astoria to Super 8 for a month or so. Walking hallways, bumping shoulders with other athletes that have grown up idolizing you, sleeping on beds made for people who are half your size, but why should they be allowed that special treatment when the other Americans must rough it out?

This is nothing new as previous USA Basketball teams have done the same but to say they should be relaxed so they can win the gold is nonsense. They will win the gold if they slept on the street, they are by far the superior team. You can’t argue family as I’m sure other athletes families are staying in the same facilities, what is boils down to is money. Team USA is a big draw, and if you want to continue having the top players come to play in the Olympics, then they must be accommodated. But what about the female basketball team, have they did not earn the right to a luxury cruise liner or the swim team, has Michael Phelps not done enough to stay on that cruise as well?

Instead of showing special privilege to some athletes show the same amount of respect to all our athletes, make them feel special instead of alienating them as the main focus is shifted to the spoiled NBA players. They are already rich; spoil the rest of the athletes that are not as fortunate.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com