When sick becomes too sick to work.

Back in the day, it felt like those who played pro sports played, because they wanted to play. They really wanted to compete, score and win. Nowadays, it seems like a lot people go into sports for the money more than for the passion. Maybe I am just a bit more jaded, but it does not seem like some of them are trying enough. Teams get to travel into foreign countries (mini vacation), they get to play and, on top of that, they get paid. Sure, they would be paid more if they won, but they still get paid decent money, even if they lose.

We just came out of soccer World Cup not too long ago. Participating in the tournament (getting through) rewards each team with $8 million. Making it out of the group (2 teams out of 4), adds another $4 million. What is that in the grand scheme of things? It does not seem like nearly enough of an incentive to want to put in 100% more effort. I was even more surprised that the team in fourth place gets $22 million, while the team in third place gets $24 million. Second place gets $28. [Source: Goal.com] Sure, any additional million is nice, but for them, it’s like 10 bucks here, or there for us.

Before you say anything, I know that athletes train and work hard (most of them). However, I do believe some of them have become primadonnas, just because they can. If you ever watched a soccer match in the recent years, you are aware of players falling to the ground in hopes of getting a free kick, or a penalty kick. Why is that? It is because soccer player’s legs are their greatest asset, and so referees do not want to be responsible for putting them in jeopardy. You can see the players rolling around on the grass, acting like they are dying when they have been barely brushed by someone else.

Today’s story comes from the world of female basketball. The WNBA team from Las Vegas decided to not show up for a game. They decided to not play. That has never happened in the 22 years the league has been up and running. What does that tell you? That this team really encountered something terrible, or that they are spoiled brats? Let me explain.

The team cancelled the game an hour and a half before it was scheduled to start, because they were travelling for over 24 hours. A trip from Vegas to DC that lasted over 24h? They should have just rented a bus… Their plane kept getting delayed, and then it got cancelled. They then had to split up into groups and take different flights to get to their destination. They spent all that time at the airport/ on the plane/ in tight spaces. Or so they report. They have not slept in a bed. They felt too tired to put their body in “jeopardy”, so they called off the game.

I am sorry, but that is hard for me to believe, that such stars had such terrible travelling conditions. Could they not get a lounge at the airport? Could they not sleep at the terminal? They complained of improper nutrition. There are so many different bars and restaurants at the airport, it is not like they could not afford it.

The opposing team had no idea until the very end. They trained to the very end. Did they not put THEIR health at risk by exerting themselves, while the other ones sat around at the airport/ at the hotel waiting for others? And how fair is it to the fans, who bought tickets (and showed up) to a game that never occurred?

We all have issues that make us want to call in sick – bad weather, bad traffic, a sick child, etc., but we are not always able to accommodate our excuse. Even if it is a valid one. So what makes athletes so special that they CAN avoid their work? Have you ever studied all night and then had to go take a test? That was putting your health at risk. Have you partied all night and then went into work? I am sure you were tired, and therefore putting your health at risk, but you did it.

Some games can be brutal. But that is part of the deal. Just be more careful, if you’re tired and/ or fatigued. Could that make you lose the game? It might. But at least you would have given it a go. The seasons are known to be busy for the players. With back to back games all over the country. Again, that is part of the deal.

It has not been decided yet if the opposing team will get a win out of all this. However, there does not seem to be a way for the teams to meet again in the next week, or so (remaining time of the season). If it is ruled that they forfeited the game, they must have less of a chance to take part in the playoffs. They must have thought about THAT. Why does it not matter to them?

There are whispers that the team called off the game to bring the issue of chartered flights into the forefront. At this point in time, there is no such thing for the WNBA, but many have spoken out about it over the years. They feel important enough to not want to travel with the regular people.

What does it take for you to call in sick?

 

Stay golden,

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41 thoughts on “When sick becomes too sick to work.

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  1. Oh man! Great post. There’s so much to say about this topic.

    First of all, after last week’s illness, I got back to work.
    Most people didn’t ask me anything, only one joked “Did you have a nice vacation?”.
    Yes, it was a lovely trip to stomach flu land. I can barely sit because of certain burning body parts.
    Some people seem immediately think you faked it.

    Calling in sick is not something I prefer to do.
    After 3 days, the company doctor called to check on how I feel.
    After, a report was send to my manager and HR with a recommendation to also give me a call.
    WHY? Didn’t I sound ill enough?
    They never called because I guess (hope) they simply trust me. I haven’t called in sick before since I work here (10 months).

    I do agree with you about the athletes.
    They work hard, but they also do something they like.
    And they will probably will start pension before they’re 35 with enough money to live a nice life.
    True, they did start training at a young age, but still, all in all they “work” less than the regular employee.

    However, I am currently experiencing traveling for work quite a lot.
    I thought it was the dream to stay in hotels, eat in different restaurants and hop in taxis.
    You can have it all really.
    It’s not at all a healthy life style and if you’re not careful, you’ll gain weight.
    It might feel like a vacation for the first few times, but it really isn’t.

    But again, true, they make loads of money so when they take a vacation, it will be luxurious.
    However, I don’t think they can enjoy it much as a regular person.
    If I twist my ankle, I wouldn’t mind as much because I can work from home for a couple of days.
    If they do, it can have a huge impact on their career.
    Same for food. I guess they still have to stick to some sort of diet, while we have the freedom to eat that extra donut.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 1. I just commented on your newest post, and it didn’t seem to appear there right away. It might have gone to spam. Or are you now pre-approving every comment?

      In my old work, you were allowed to take 2 days off, but by day 3, you needed a doctor’s note saying you were sick enough to stay out of the office.

      Like

  2. Damn, what a bunch of losers. They should automatically forfeit, regardless of the reasons. They showed no respect to the opposing team or the league. Who cares about their wants and desires? Just because they don’t get as many perks as the NBA? This league is still in its infancy. When the NBA began they were taking buses everywhere. When the NBA began, they were staying in horrible hotels and motels since the league didn’t have that money to spend. 22 years in and this is the crap that they pull. Just shows how spoiled they are.

    Everyone wants what everyone else has, just with not the years of work put in to get to where they are. No wonder the WNBA isn’t doing that well, all they do is whine about their airtime, whine about their wages, whine, whine, whine. Although the WNBA isn’t alone in all of this. It seems that MLB does it right. The amenities that a player or team get, really depends on how well they do. Perhaps the WNBA should be more concerned with winning than any benefits at this time. Perhaps hit the gym more, run more drills and the better they get, the more attention the sport will get.

    Lastly, who do they want as an audience?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the added background on WNBA vs. NBA.
      That’s the times we live in. More and more people are entitled to things they would have normally had to have worked for.

      I agree, I hope they don’t get a chance to re-do that game.

      Well, that’s the thing. A game cancelled an hour before. A lot of people were already there. Wasted money AND time. They were disrespected. It was supposed to be a breast cancer awareness night, with various auctions, etc. Because the even was cancelled, no awareness was raised, no money donated to a good cause. The vendors that showed up to sell food and earn money got robbed.
      It wasn’t just the players that were affected. Selfish.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Everyone likes to compare today to the 1960s during the civil rights movement, the difference is, then they were fighting to be equal. Now their fighting to be protected from hurt feelings. Lebron James is a huge, strong millionaire. Why are we supposed to believe that he is still a victim? Isn’t he part of the supposed 1% now? Or damn close to it? Same with Obama and Hillary.

        Victim hood is rewarded with money, whereas merit is rewarded with higher taxes and more work!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting read. I am not a die hard sports fan of any kind but I do wish I could make millions working a season. I know they work hard and train ect. but they get paid millions to do what they love. Who gets that? Not most of us. As for your question..I don’t work when I have pneumonia. Thats what it takes for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re a one tough cookie, I see.

      Yes, they train a lot, but get paid a lot. They get to retire rather early on in their lives. From sports, they can get a job as a sports commentator, an endorses, a coach, etc, once they retire. I do think they should follow same ethics as the rest of us. Not all celebrities earned their spot.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I get annoyed by the “stars”. Just because they played 1 good game, they feel like they are the kings of the world and have all the bargaining power. I get that every coach wants to win, but, if you allowed those people who WANT TO play play, then the morale would be better, which could lead to more wins. Primadonnas….

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I get that they are risking all sorts of contusions, but aren’t we all?
          It provides decent entertainment here and there, but we could probably live without most of it, so you’re right in questioning that.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Where I work people call in sick all the time for very stupid reasons. I’ve never called in sick for the past 6 years. And the last time I called in sick, I had pneumonia and every little chore took a lot of effort. I had to rest for 3 weeks. If I can get up, I go to work. If I need rest, I take a vacation the right way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It seems strange to me that they wouldn’t play. If they lost, they had a great excuse. 🙂

    “Too sick to work” seems to vary according to your experience. When I was 20, a sniffle was a reason to call in sick. Now, I have to be so sick I can’t get out of bed (which rarely happens).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a heavy topic. I agree that athletes on the whole are overpaid! Overpaid! When you consider the jobs that police, fireman, doctors, nurses, to name but a few who consistently put their lives on the line in order to save another, it doesn’t really equate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great point. Everything is relative. The athletes might train every day, worried about contusion, but so are we – when we leave the house (or even get out of bed). And when it comes to public service employees, it is a whole other story. Some are greatly underpaid.

      Like

      1. It’s how I see the situation. The pressure on athletes to perform is outstanding, but what about Olympians who get paid absolutely nothing. They aren’t allowed endorsements and they make a “name” for themselves that might lead to a job afterward, but they aren’t paid!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. One cannot compare athlete A to athlete B, and it’s not fair. It’s not fair that some sports/ disciplines are more popular than others. Some athletes put in a lot of work, but they get overshadowed by the star sports’ representative.

          I still would like to compete in the Olympics and get a medal…

          Like

  7. I’m still a teenager but I suck at having sick days. I push myself and don’t want to take the risk of missing out on tonnes of work. So, when I hear of things like this it frustrates me so much! When did it become not about playing and having fun but about winning and using every excuse possible to do so?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear that you don’t take the easy way out.
      You reminded me of school days. I would get awards for 100% attendance for many years. I hated missing a day, because of all the notes I had to copy, the material I had to go through, etc.
      It’s same with some work – it just piles up on your desk…
      That’s my question, too. Sports should be entertaining. And yes, it’s their “job”, but we’re not forcing them to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The average salary in the WNBA is only about 70K – which is not peanuts, but it’s not loads of money. The starting salary, not the median, but the very lowest an NBA player makes is 500K. Female basketball players are not rich, or famous. Most of them make less than I do at my desk job.

    The WNBA does not get special flights or special treatment at the airport. Travel is hard on anyone’s body, but to be up for 24 hours with no rest and no good food is more than enough to make you impaired. When your body is your paycheque, you don’t put it at risk.

    The average WNBA career is 3 seasons long. Just 3 seasons. No one is retiring off of that. These women go on to be gym teachers and real estate agents and office drones like the rest of us. They even get other jobs during their off-season because they can’t afford to support themselves otherwise.

    They get $65 per diem when traveling. For most that will barely cover parking or a cab ride to the airport.

    It takes about 10 000 hours of training to become an elite athlete. These women are following their passion and their talent even though the sport is not nearly as financially rewarding to women as it is to men. They do it because they love it, and they can only do it for a short time, so no, I wouldn’t risk injury or stress for one stupid game after such an awful ordeal, one that was out of their hands from start to finish.

    I once brought Sean to Oklahoma (from our home in Canada) for a birthday basketball – his favourite player Durant played for OKC, and they were playing Cleveland (Lebron James). I paid a couple thousand dollars for the game tickets, and that’s besides flights and hotels. And you know what? Our flights were delayed. Yeah, it sucked. We were going to miss the game and then we got lucky and made it literally with only seconds to spare. Only Lebron didn’t show. He called it sick. Lebron currently makes over 35 MILLION a year, and he calls in sick sometimes too. That’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thorough examination of WNBA pay. Some interesting stuff.
      Why are they paid so much less? Life, I guess. They don’t have as many fans as NBA teams to. They don’t earn as much as their male counterparts do (ticket wise, etc), so they don’t get paid as much. The association loses money, so no wonder they can’t pay more.

      Speaking of passion. I’d compare it to a struggling artist. They follow their passion, too. They play at local bars, they paint for no one, etc. We all could face financial problems. But I think they get more opportunities outside of sports than a painter would, but that’s just speculation.

      This post was more about grit, and frame of mind. Some people go above and beyond, some people don’t even try hard. Those are extremes, but yes, something I was interested in exploring.

      Like

    2. And about Lebron. How understanding of you. I wouldn’t be. Sure, he COULD have been sick, but chances are that he was just too hungover and some kid who dreamed to see him for forever was let down.

      Like

  9. In fact, the NBA specifically protects its players from doing this kind of travel even in perfect conditions and on charter flights (which the WNBA does not have). The NBA contracts prohibit teams from playing on the same day they would travel across at least two time zones, except in unusual circumstances and with the union’s agreement, which is what they were asking of this time in the best circumstance. And things degraded from there! So the big tough millionaire men would admittedly be too tired so they never have to face the issue, but the women should have to do this routinely? For less money? And no complaining? That doesn’t seem fair.

    Liked by 1 person

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