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Diversity at the Olympics

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It’s Olympic Time. As the Super Bowl ends, the sports world and even your non-sports fans turn their attention to the 2018 Winter Olympics. A time when we drape ourselves in the flag, root for athletes we’ve never heard of, all because they wear the red, white and blue. I can get behind that.

But, there’s something I can’t get behind…

Did you know the United States Olympic Committee has a director of diversity and inclusion? His name is Jason Thompson and the purpose of his job is to make our Olympic team diverse.

From the U.S. Olympic Website:

 “To fulfill this mission, the USOC recognizes the need to prioritize diversity in everyday operations and maintain an inclusive culture that represents all U.S citizens.”

Sports are the last meritocracy. Coaches jobs are on the line, they don’t have time to play favorites. They don’t have time for inclusiveness. They need the best athletes, the ones who will win the medals.

This year the American team will have 10 members who are black, 11 who are Asian and, for the first time, two openly gay American athletes. None of that should matter. Are they the best at what they do?

“We’re not quite where we want to be. I think full-on inclusion has always been a priority of Team USA. I think everybody’s always felt it should represent every American,” Thompson said.

There is no reason for the United States Olympic Committee to have a director of diversity and inclusion. There’s no reason to give a second of thought about making sure certain Americans are represented at the Olympic games.

The same analogy can be applied to our troops in the Middle East. We are fighting a war, all while trying to be sensitive to the other side. American soldiers aren’t allowed to shoot, unless being shot at. If they think there’s someone of high value, it works it’s way up a set of commands, taking way too much time. Yet, the other side, would behead us in a second if they could.

They want to win, we want to be inclusive.

The Russians, the Chinese, all the other countries aren’t looking at making their Olympic team more diverse, they’re looking at the getting the best athletes to compete.

During the 2020 Summer Olympics, I don’t want our basketball team to have slow white guys like myself on the court. I want the best. As we watch in the coming weeks, I don’t care who’s out there, what ethnicity, what sexuality preference, I just want the U.S.A. to win and that’s all that should matter. 

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