Steve Nash has taken a little bit of flak recently for his comments on his video series on Grantland.com. In the latest chapter Nash said he won’t retire because he ‘wants the money.’
Kobe Bryant is no stranger to criticism in regards to wanting too much money, and he has voiced his opinion on that matter. In an ESPN interview with Darren Rovell, Bryant defended Nash, as well as the larger picture of athletes talking about getting paid:
We all play the game because we love the game. Nobody will ever question that about Steve, he loves playing the game. At the same time, it is a job that he gets paid to do. For whatever reason, when athletes talk about that or talks about business or getting paid what he or she is worth, all of a sudden, red sirens go off. I would play for free, but while I’m playing for free, these owners are making billions and billions of dollars. But it’s OK for them to talk about that, but it’s not OK for the athlete to talk about that. It makes no sense.
Bryant poses a very interesting point about fan and media expectations. Everyone expects athletes to go out and play without thinking about the financial aspects. If they do talk about that side, many label them as greedy and selfish.
But as Bryant points out, the owners of these teams are usually billionaires, making money off of these same athletes. At the same time, they are doing everything in their power to make as much money as possible, yet no one criticizes them for doing so.
Much like Nash, Bryant’s career is winding down and they will not sit quietly while being criticized for making money. Maybe by continuing to voice their opinions on this subject, the idea of what an athlete can speak on will begin to change.
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