Citizenship shouldn’t be taken lightly

From ESPN.com: Hammon’s Olympic dream puts her in Russian uniform

“The jersey that I wear has never made me who I was. It has nothing to do with what’s written on my heart,” Hammon told ESPN.com Tuesday. “Will I be playing for Russia? Yes. But I’m absolutely 100 percent still an American. I love our country. I love what we stand for. This is an opportunity to fulfill my dream of playing in the Olympics.”

What might make Hammon’s decision an eye-opener in this country is that — in addition to her scrappy point-guard play — her popularity stems partly from the perception that she is the ultimate small-town all-American girl: blond hair, ponytail and near perfect smile. And now the all-American girl will suit up for Russia, which could knock a dent into that image.

Becky Hammon, a popular WNBA player, is U.S. born with no Russian ancestors.  Hammon became a naturalized Russian citizen last year to be able to play on the Russian team.

I have no problem with naturalized citizens joining a country’s Olympic team- there are a number of them that have been on the U.S. Olympic team.  However, I think if you become a citizen of a country you should show some allegiance to the country. 

When Hammon says that she’s 100% American, that should be a slap in the face to every member of the Russian Olympic team.  I’m surprised that the Russians would allow her to stay on the team with statements like that.  Imagine an U.S. Olympic team member saying that he/she had 100% allegiance to another country.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Linda E July 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Seriously this is basketball.
    You should get over yourself in thinking its a slap in the face. Like it or not the Olympics became big business as soon as Jordan, Johnson, etc… were put onto the back of team jerseys.
    Do you even know the politics of FIBA basketball? Do you know how many women in the WNBA have citizenships to other countries besides the USA?
    Do you know that being a citizen of a European country gives you MAJOR tax break on the money you make in Europe.
    Do you know HAMMON is one of the best players in the world and Team USA played favorites and BS politics instead of giving her a fair shot?
    Or did you just read the ESPN article and whatever else you found on the web recycling old stories and come up with your article?
    Do you even watch the WNBA? or FIBA basketball?

  • Reply MT July 3, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you for your comment, but you actually, you missed my point completely. It’s not a slap in the face to me, how could it be? I don’t blame Hammon at all for find a way to play in the Olympics. I’m just saying that Russia should have more pride in their own Olympic team and have members of the team that actually love their country. Hammon says she’s 100% American, how do you think it would make another Russian woman feel who loves her country and loves to play basketball to have this American on the Olympic team? This isn’t pro sports, this is the Olympics.

  • Reply Anonymous July 4, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Some of the women on the same Russian professional team as Becky also play for the Russian National Team. Stepanova and Korstin were at first adamant against an outsider on their national team, they wanted to do it themselves. Becky was first against the idea herself, she just wanted to play professional league in Russia.
    But as they came to know Becky and she them, they developed friendships and all had a change of heart. They have welcomed Becky and she will live her dream.

  • Reply MT July 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    That’s great that the teammates have welcomed Hammon, but it still doesn’t change the fact that she doesn’t consider herself Russian and that she’s only doing it to fill her own needs and desires. If a member of the U.S. team in any sport, spoke out about not being American and having 100% allegiance to another country, you can bet people here wouldn’t be happy about it.

  • Leave a Reply