We’ve written a great deal during the last couple of years about the empowerment of professional athletes, especially black athletes. Many are speaking out on issues, joining movements and using their considerable platforms to call attention to issues they feel are important.
But one thing many young athletes, and many old ones, lose track of is that professional athletes are employees. Unlike their fellow workers, professional athletes can be traded, cheap nba jerseys
dispatched from one part of the country to another without much consideration given to how trades affect the player’s equilibrium, family life or causes.
Many of the college players drafted last month into the NBA, for example, will not finish their careers with the teams that drafted them.
No matter how popular or even how talented they are, pro players are checkers and chess pieces to be moved around in a way that helps the franchise, not the player, reach its goal.
While most players say they know this, I’m always astounded by the reaction of veteran players when they are traded or released by a team for whom they have toiled for several seasons.
Two seasons ago, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, after completing an emotionally taxing season, expressed hurt and anger when he was traded from Boston to Cleveland.
Last week Kawhi Leonard, after weeks of lobbying for a trade, was shuttled from San Antonio to Toronto in exchange for Raptors star DeMar DeRozan. Each case involved muscle-flexing by the respective organizations that did what was best for the team, not necessarily for the player. In fact, the trades were executed with complete disregard for each player’s wishes.