PUBLIC OPINION > Olympic Athletes Shouldn't Get Paid

Sports 2012/04/13 21:00:00
Dwyane Wade who led the U.S. Men's Basketball team to a gold medal victory in the 2008 Olympics, is backtracking after suggesting Olympic athletes should be paid. He never explicitly said it, but he did say "it would be nice if you would get compensated."

Wade has since clarified that his comment was a response to a reporter who specifically asked for his thoughts on Olympic athletes being paid, and assured fans, "It's always been an honor for me to be a part of the USA Olympic family ... and I'm looking forward to doing it again in London this summer." We think that's a pretty fair excuse, but it begs the question... What does the public think about the idea?

Olympic athletes have never been paid in the past. Why start now? The Top Opinion read, "Goes against the very spirit of the olympics," and many comments echoed the same thought. The Olympics celebrate national pride, love of the sport and the competition. Money would only taint the experience, for both the country and the athlete. The argument in favor of paying Olympic athletes is simple: They're working; why not pay them for their time? But national pride won out in the end.

Empathy From the Unemployed

Forget the age differences, the gender differences, the relationship differences. They were there, but this question brought out differences in a demographic that rarely shows much variation: employment. Unemployed voters (distinguishable from students) were twice as likely to say Olympic athletes should be paid. And that's not it...

Money Talks

...Even the amount respondents made had an effect on their response. We phased out the $0-$25K group just to emphasize that we weren't reiterating the unemployed demographic, but each income bracket was less supportive than the last. Only 20% of respondents making over $75K thought Olympic athletes should be compensated.

Progressives Support Pay

Political affiliation had an even bigger affect on how people responded. Progressives were off the charts with 69% calling for compensation, while conservatives came in way under par with just 16% in favor. The fact that the athletes would probably have to be paid through taxes probably had something to do with it.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about paying Olympic athletes. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Freeranger 2012/04/13 21:47:45
    Brother.........and there it is in your first sentence. Why start now? We could go on and on about countries who subsidize and pay their athletes, who do nothing else but train, yet.....can there be no sweeter and perfect victory than that athlete who steps up on to the platform in a gold, silver or bronze position, have the laurel wreath pressed on their head having beat that professional? You wanna talk motivating moment and instance of national pride?.......THAT my friend, is it!

    Olympics.......keep it pure

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  • mac9 2012/09/07 15:56:06
    Why not?
  • rcswaggcity 2012/04/16 21:04:54
    Of course they work harder than any other jobs.
  • American Nate 2012/04/16 18:40:35
    American Nate
    No, They get paid by Medals and advertisments.

    gold medal usa

    phielps  subway
  • Jeremy Villa 2012/04/16 18:35:12
    Jeremy Villa
    If they are professional, they are disqualified from taking part in the Olympic Games.professional disqualified olympic games
  • America... Jeremy ... 2012/04/16 18:42:17
    American Nate
    That was a long time ago. Pros play in olympics.
  • SneakyPete Jeremy ... 2012/04/27 19:10:14
    Good answer.
  • carlton999 2012/04/16 07:17:33
    Its the Olympics. you go because its an Honor and a Privilege. All Athletes are suppose to be Armatures (i.e. Not Professionals who do it for a living). The USA was the last of the participants who used to Honor this rule but with all of the other countries using their Pro's we started using ours also. Your room and board are taken care of, that should be payment enough.

    Besides......if you work hard and Medal you will make your money with endorsements.

    Olympians do not need to be paid.
  • strawberry 2012/04/16 03:51:34
    No, Olympic athletes were once not allowed to have been commercial until after they won medals in the Olympics. Being paid was not the intention of Olympic games, but the spirit of being the best.
  • Michael 2012/04/16 03:33:58
    What is the "purpose" of not paying the athletes? Was it to differentiate between professionals who had a "leg up" on everybody? If that is the case, there is a marked difference between paying athletes an allowance to live on and being a professional athlete.
  • thebarbecuemast 2012/04/16 01:09:14
    don't pay them
  • Rono 2012/04/15 16:30:44
    Maybe it's not a bad idea for theirs merchandise sponsors to pay them. On second thought the do already...
  • Anna 2012/04/15 16:23:29
    I'd pay them at least $12 an hour.
  • Jackal 2012/04/15 15:35:23
    I think Dwayne Wade was basically saying, "It would be nice to be compensated, but it is really no big deal."As though he was saying, I don't mind not getting paid, but I won't say anything if I do, either.
  • KoAm 2012/04/15 12:36:43
    The question is a bit confusing. Do you mean to ask whether professional athletes should be allowed to compete? Or that they should actually be paid for being in the Olympics? They're not the same thing.

    My opinion on the first question is, yes, professional athletes should be allowed to compete in the Olympics -- as they are now.

    As for the second, no, they shouldn't be paid for being in the Olympics -- at least not by the Olympic organizers themselves. If their professional clubs or national Olympic committees want to pay them privately, that's their business.
  • Beat Magnum True Hero 2012/04/15 07:48:52 (edited)
    Beat Magnum True Hero
    I don't care what anyone says, these guys were paid and it was AWESOME TO WATCH the carnage (worth ten minutes of your time if you love basketball):

    I take that back. These guys weren't paid. The gods of Mt. Olympus decided to personally honor the games by suiting up and playing some hoops against the mere mortals.
  • Miss Sissa 2012/04/15 02:43:03
    Miss Sissa
    Isn't competing in the damn Olympics enough of a payment?
  • the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/15 01:28:12
    the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA
    Hell NO. They get enough too much money as it is.
  • handimom 2012/04/14 18:59:11
    Olympic competitors cannot be professional athletes; if they get paid, they are professional. Also, as a former competitor (not olympic) I think it would corrupt the spirit and dynamics of the olympics to start paying the athletes.
  • Kronan_1 handimom 2012/04/14 20:35:08
    Correct. The rule is that only amatuer athletes compete in the olympics. Paying them would make them professional athletes.
  • JP 2012/04/14 18:34:55
    It's easy to see that progressives don't care how taxes are distributed as long as people are taxed.
  • frank 2012/04/14 18:09:32
    I support the amateur athletes. In some sports they already are. Russia has supported some of their sport teams for more than 30 years. The USA has been is sending Professional Basketball players for over ten years. If there is going to be professional athletes in the Olympics then they all should be paid or return the Olympics to its amateur statics and no one gets paid.
  • rikab49 2012/04/14 16:36:35
    That's crazy they represent the athletism of america, weare the fat test country its a job to stay fit here. We pay other people to represent us that shouldnt be paid to do so like, jersey shore, our pro "juiced" foot ball stars, and kardashians. Now we want to question supporting the ones who actually deserve recognition for representation
  • mike schwartz 2012/04/14 11:47:41
    mike schwartz
    The original spirit of the olympics reflected the appeal of amateur sporting events. We should return to those principles.
  • Utall 2012/04/14 11:19:33
  • Mr.Hood... Utall 2012/04/16 00:52:54 (edited)
  • Utall Mr.Hood... 2012/04/16 02:20:56 (edited)
    i'm not a troll.

    so take your 2 cent non-sense out of here.
  • Mr.Hood... Utall 2012/04/16 11:56:07
    Mr.Hoodz the Truth Troll
    NOPE. Only trolls leave comments like you did. Only black people? Please.... Like black people are the only ones that like to get paid.
  • LAAD Gunner - USMC 2012/04/14 06:52:58
  • Gregaj7 2012/04/14 05:14:56
    The days of the truly amateur athlete are far behind us. It's way beyond time for US to comprehend that and make the necessary adjustments. Or maybe it's beyond time for the Olympics to be shut-down for the sham that it is epically becoming.
  • Rick 2012/04/14 04:44:55
    They already make enough money. No need for greed.
  • wolfshadow 2012/04/13 22:35:24
    I must have missed this one.... of course they should. How else can they support themselves during training? They should get money from sponsors...
  • handimom wolfshadow 2012/04/14 19:05:17
    I don't think they are talking about sponsors; sponsors generally support during training and provide equipment,etc. I believe they are talking about like professional ball players get paid.
  • wolfshadow handimom 2012/04/14 19:40:33
    Who would pay them? Not the government.... That's why I say they should have sponsors that pay them...
  • Sterling 2012/04/13 22:10:50
    Wow didn't really expect the political differences. Progressives think multimillionaire athletes need to get paid for one of the greatest sports honors we can bestow? Interesting.
  • Joey Sterling 2012/04/13 22:15:57
    And conservatives support people working with out pay. While people richer than said athletes makes money off of them. So that was something I expected.
  • Sterling Joey 2012/04/14 03:16:22
    The olympics has a cost. I fully expect the people who build the stadiums to get compensated for it. They aren't the athletes, however, and the atheletes have a long history of playing for hte sport, not for the money. It's the one place where you go just because of a competitive spirit, not because of monetary compensation. I don't honestly care if the athletes get paid a modest amount for expenses (which I'm sure they're already comp'd).

    So what, corporations are people now in your eyes?
  • Judog10 2012/04/13 22:04:57
    Says who?
  • Freeranger 2012/04/13 21:47:45
    Brother.........and there it is in your first sentence. Why start now? We could go on and on about countries who subsidize and pay their athletes, who do nothing else but train, yet.....can there be no sweeter and perfect victory than that athlete who steps up on to the platform in a gold, silver or bronze position, have the laurel wreath pressed on their head having beat that professional? You wanna talk motivating moment and instance of national pride?.......THAT my friend, is it!

    Olympics.......keep it pure
  • Joey Freeranger 2012/04/13 22:02:59
    Expect people who make money off of showing the games the Networks. And the money that is made of selling the players shirts and stuff .
  • Freeranger Joey 2012/04/13 22:06:08
    Joey, with respect, I'm not sure what your message is here. I'm assuming, based on what you've written that you're addressing networks and promotional clothing?...and money drived from that perhaps

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2016/02/12 14:12:47

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