Playing professional sports is one of the most prestigious things to do in our society. It comes with wealth, fame, and fortune. People from all over recognize for your talent and ability. The pride you get for representing your team or city is almost unmatched. Yet, what about the pride you get for representing your country?
The world stops for the Olympics, but I guess the NHL can’t stop.
Taking a minute to look at this issue from a sports business perspective we can see what the NHL is thinking. They don’t want their million dollar star players risking injury overseas. They also don’t want to lose revenue from stopping the season.
Their reasons can be justified, but is that really enough to keep athletes from living out their dream? Money is the driving force of sports, but the money they are going to lose from the negative backlash of not letting their players in the Olympics could be just as bad. Taking that into consideration the NHL has remained firm on their stance.
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Regardless of the NHL’s decree, there are many players that plan to partake in the Olympic Games. One of the NHL’s most notable players, Alex Ovechkin, has already said he doesn’t care what the NHL says and that he will play for his home country. I hope that more players will take this initiative and put country over a paycheck. Take this golden opportunity to win the Gold medal for our country and represent it with pride. The NHL will still be there afterwards, and so will your career. A fine? A suspension? I think those are worthy prices to pay to play on the biggest stage of sports.
The backlash the NHL is receiving has been almost all negative. While the NHL is one of the big four sports organizations it is behind the other three by a substantial margin. While the Olympics will not slim the margin forever, having your best players participate on the world's stage can only help the cause.