Sunday, July 6, 2008

For the Grandparents

So Los Angeles Clippers forward Chris Kaman has been given permission to suit up for the Germany national team as it tries to qualify for this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing. Despite being born in Michigan, Kaman will compete for another country should Germany qualify.

What I want to know is: where's the scorn? Everyone got their panties in a bunch when Becky Hammon announced she would be playing for Russia, so why aren't those same people throwing stones Kaman's way?

Does it have something to do with the fact that Kaman has German heritage, with his grandparents being native Germans? Are we really hanging our hat on that technicality?

I've already made my opinion regarding Hammon clear (read a little further down on this page), and I feel the same way about Kaman: if someone wants to compete in the Olympics and can't play for their native country, who am I to tell them they can't compete at all?

Hammon is no less patriotic for playing for Russia, and neither is Kaman for suting up for Germany.

Last I checked, being American meant you had freedoms and opportunities not available to natives of some other nations. So certain American athletes won't be donning the red, white and blue in Beijing; by following their dreams, aren't they still living the American dream?

Is there anything more American than living out one's dreams?

Hammon is still an American, and a proud one at that; how convenient everyone forgets Team USA didn't want her. Same goes for Kaman.

But if the ignorant flag-wavers insist on calling Hammon a traitor and unpatriotic, then at least give Kaman the same level of disrespect. Or better yet, just shut up altogether.

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