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Denmark Unleashed

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The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Denmark Unleashed

The Sport’s World Controversy: Passion or Money?

Angel D Maria celebrating a goal on Argentina by making a heart with his hands. (Dailysabah)

Players pointing to the badge or talking about finally playing for the club/team of their dreams exemplifies a sense of passion. When an individual plays with pure passion, they are able to be resilient and accomplish their goals. It provides a type of energy that cannot be supplemented. When a player plays for anything but pure passion, the objective of the game changes. They play for money and it degrades the authenticity and honesty of the game.

A major issue for many semi-protlets is financial security. While financial stability is an important factor, at what point does it ruin the enjoyment of the game? One instance is Angel Di Maria. In 2010, Di Maria was transferred to Real Madrid on a $10 million deal. His impact was sensational. Despite a rocky relationship with the club, Di Maria’s role in the club’s 10th UCL is still praised to this day. The relationship was further worsened as his time went on at Madrid. He eventually left for Manchester United, it was clear that it was mainly a financial decision. 

Florentino Perez, president of the club, stated that Angel had very high demands for Madrid that they couldn’t possibly satisfy, which is why he chose Manchester United. Di Maria’s wife recalled a conversation between the two, he kept saying that they would be more financially stable, which is why he ultimately decided to transfer to United. The main goal/objective charged for Di Maria. Di Maria had a disappointing season. Going from his beloved club, with a UCL and La Liga title, to only three goals in 27 games at United, was upsetting. When playing for a club that he had a true passion and love for, Di Maria prospered. While playing for a club that offered double the amount at his previous club, his stats plummeted. Comparing his season with love for the club compared to his club he joined mainly for money, his career plummeted.

“When a player plays for anything but pure passion, the objective of the game changes.”

For years, fans and viewers have questioned whether or not players play for passion or money and whether or not their motivation ruins the game. One legend, Kobe Bryant, is known around the world for his emotion towards basketball and how much he truly loved the game, is one example of true love and commitment. In 2018, Bryant helped rebrand a basketball academy, The Mamba Sports Academy. In his facilities, Bryant hosted training sessions for WNBA and NBA athletes as well as coaching for his daughter’s youth team. Sharing his mindset, teaching his skills, and demonstrating his passion for the game; Bryant further shaped the culture of athletes that trained under him and at the academy. 

Insufficient funds against the love of sports. (Katie Trinh)

After his tragic passing in 2020, his name and impact still lives on through family, friends, and his work. His close friend Micheal Jordan shared Kobe’s passion for basketball. During a speech by Jordan in Kobe’s memory, he dives into Kobe’s love for the game, “This kid had passion like you would never know. It’s an amazing thing about passion. If you love something, if you have a strong passion for something, you would go to the extreme to try to understand it or try to get it.” Kobe did truly understand basketball. After a 20 year long NBA career, he continued it by sharing it, it was his main goal. Ultimately with his success he made over 328 million dollars. But his actions show his true intentions: to expand the love of basketball. Kobe won five NBA titles, two Olympic gold medals, and many other accomplishments. Even after his career, he continued to strive to share his passion for basketball.

One recent signing in the MLB that has caused controversy is the signing of Shohei Ohtani. With the biggest signing in history, Ohtani signed with the Dodgers on a $700 million contract that is deferred over the course of 10 years. Ohtani wanted to create his legacy. With being a well-rounded athlete, he believed the Dodgers were the right fit for him to potentially win the Championship. 

The Dodgers do not have $700 million at hand, which is why Ohtani is deferring 97% of it. While it may seem like he is playing in order to get this large amount of money, his goal isn’t money oriented. Ohtani wants to build a team, which is why he isn’t receiving the money right away. For the next few years, the team will be able to grow and hopefully win the league. Ohtani’s actions will potentially create more action and excitement for the game.

As time passes, money will grow as a factor when athletes are deciding where to play. Will money ruin the game?

Ohtani says Dodgers passion for winning led to signing, salary … (n.d.). 

View Comments (4)
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About the Contributors
Miranda Meano
Miranda Meano, Sports Editor
After I rush to school, the countdown until my afternoon nap begins. I’m an avid supporter of power naps, Chai Lattes, and FC Barcelona. This year, I am excited to cover Denmark's student athletes, coaches, and teams. Growing up constantly watching and playing various different sports, my love for athletics has grown and I naturally became the #1 Pedri fan. As a returning writer at Denmark Unleashed, I hope to expand my writing skills and share the voices of the Denmark Danes.
Katie Trinh
Katie Trinh, Staff
Ever since I can remember I've always hated writing, but now I'm in journalism. To me there is nothing better than getting time to lay down for a long 8 hour after school nap,  when my time is consumed by sports. The pain of staying up till 2am playing video games, has my eyes dry while writing this. It does not help that I have excruciating conditioning at 6 am making my legs sore. While I'm still not a fan of writing, photography and visual media is what I hope to get out of this class through Denmark Unleashed.

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  • N

    natalie brooksMay 13, 2024 at 11:41 am

    I love the photo of the money and the field. It really sums up the article in one image. Very unique and different from most photos.

  • G

    Grace WelickyMay 13, 2024 at 11:35 am

    I don’t know if that thumbnail pic was an iteration of the baseball field money spread, if it was, good improvement! If not, Its a great picture otherwise.

  • K

    Katelyn MillsApr 22, 2024 at 11:26 am

    I found it interesting how Di Maria truly played well when he enjoyed his experience while playing for one team, but fell to his standards when he transferred to play solely for financial stability. It shows how much sports and an athlete’s passion for sports is affected when outside circumstances get in the way.

  • K

    Katie OApr 22, 2024 at 11:16 am

    This is such an interesting topic! I hadn’t considered the difference between playing for money vs playing for passion, but I think you covered it really well. I think the specific examples you provided were really helpful.