Monday, December 18, 2006

I bet you think Bud Selig & Gene Orza said the following:

The China market is our most important and largest market outside the United States. China is clearly priority No. 1.”

...business holdings in China are growing by 30% each year...(we) hope to double the staff at (our) China offices in time for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

...(we've) structured a marketing engine in China, ready to sell more merchandise and apparel, expanding (our) online presence, offering live streaming of games and hope to double broadcasts of games in the next few years.

  • and (plan) on playing regular season games in China as well....

(Our) merchandise is sold in over 20,000 retail outlets throughout China...".......

(The author continues). (P.S.The previous statements were actually made by NBA commissioner David Stern). sm

But one can only wonder how much benefit players will realize from such investments.

This is only part of the story, as there are many problems which still remain such as

  • rampant counterfeiting of merchandise in China, which exists in every sector of marketed goods there, costing U.S. firms billions of dollars in lost revenues each year.
  • In addition, censorship of broadcasts and limited internet access by the Chinese people is controlled by the Communist Chinese Party. China’s persistent human rights and labor abuses are never discussed... why should they be?

After all, the U.S. government pays but lip service to a trade partner and major creditor in China, which the U.S. economy is virtually dependent upon.

United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Chairman, Peter Ueberroth, signed a bilateral agreement with the China Olympic Committee.

Titled the Memorandum of Intentions for Sport Exchanges Between the Chinese Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee, it is designed to promote friendship and understanding between the two nations.

According to Ueberroth, “We clearly need to reach out to every nation, no exception, and envelop friendship through sport,” supposedly to give other countries a different perception of Americans. (Sorry, different from what? Why?)sm

But the agreement in friendship goes far beyond a mere symbolic gesture, just two years before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

  • It will provide the Chinese with the U.S. sharing of its expertise in coaching, its sports facilities, inroads in science and medicine, management and marketing, among other things.

It is arguable about how much the U.S will gain from China’s implied reciprocity. What is clear, is that China looks at sports far differently than the U.S. does.

  • Sports are not just games or a business or sheer entertainment for the Chinese. Elite athletes in China are trained to project national ambition. China’s main intent is not to develop (sports) stars but for their athletes to be representative of the nation and that international competition is far more important than lending a few players to the (games).

But yet the Chinese are also smart in business and will suffer allowing a little entertainment for its people, on its own terms of course, while at the same time benefiting from millions of dollars in American business ventures.

  • The Chinese have different cultural objectives than the western world; other countries are about the individual.
  • China’s use of steroids was also deterred upon testing positive in past Olympics with several of its women swimmers. But now athletes are welcomed with opened arms to experience the best training in the world, only to go home and compete against the U.S. on the world’s stage.

  • And while individual professional athletes are received differently than professional teams or college athletes in the U.S., the sports industry--including the Olympic Committee--wishes to change its image from that of competitor to that of being inclusive and politically correct.

Should that come at the expense of funding Americans preparing for the Olympics or deprives American students from college educations all in the name of globalism, so be it. Yet, it will eventually defeat the U.S. athlete and impact morale and America’s sense of competition.

The USOC, the NBA, the NCAA, MLB, including the NFL, simply cannot continue to dilute the American pool of athletes while at the same time expect Americans to dominate in their respective sports.

Such hypocrisy is no better exhibited than by the NBA and the USOC, fearful that America no longer dominates basketball internationally as it once did, while the NBA in 2006 devotes 25% of its spots to foreign players.

It remains unfair and unrealistic for those Americans who aspire in the future to become college, Olympic or professional athletes and eventual champions. For without America’s resources and its full support they will simply lose."

From article by Diane M.Grassi, "Unrestrained Globalization will Defeat the American Athlete," published on BlackAthlete.net.12/18/06.

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