The U.S. bobsled team is not happy with Olympic athlete Lolo Jones. Her recent video post where she complains about her $741.84 paycheck from the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation didn’t sit well with other bobsledders. In the video she mocks the paycheck, joking that she won’t be able to pay her rent:
“Seven months with bobsled season. The whole season. That’s it.” On the phone, presumably talking to a mock landlord, she says, “I’m going to be a little late on my rent this month.” Then the camera focuses on her paycheck.
This didn’t sit well with team members, specifically Olympic gold medalist Steven Holcomb. According to USA Today Sports he wasn’t pleased:
“It wasn’t taken very well,” Holcomb said. “People were really kind of insulted. You just made $741, more than most athletes in the sport. So what are you complaining about?”
“The way it came across to a lot of the athletes here was kind of snobby because she’s one of the most well-known athletes in the world and she’s making pretty good money in endorsements (as a two-time Olympic hurdler). And to basically turn around and slap us in the face because you didn’t make any money this year in bobsledding while taking money from other’s athletes? She slapped pretty much every athlete in the U.S. federation in the face. That was the general consensus.”
Well, feeling the heat Jones, issued a statement through her sponsor Red Bull:
“I didn’t want to offend anyone, and I’ve always wanted to help out my bobsled teammates,” the statement read. “Some of them have debt because they’ve given their life to the sport. My partner Jazmine and I had to raise money for the bobsled to be funded just to finish the season, because only 2 of the 3 sleds are funded by the team. I can’t imagine halfway through my track season having to stop and raise money to finish.
“The vine of the paycheck is just showing the difference between track and bobsled, and to be honest bobsledders work more hours than track! The bottom line is that all Olympic athletes dedicate their lives to their sports and do not receive lucrative paychecks like athletes in mainstream professional sports. So hopefully this will make people appreciate just how hard Olympians work, often just for the love of the sport.”
While her joke may not have been well received, she does raise a point about the amount of money some athletes don’t make. The most they can get in their monthly stipend $2,000, and they have to qualify to get that by being in the top tier of performers.
According to USA Today Sports, U.S. bobsledder Elana Meyers tweeted her thanks to Jones for bringing “the issues to light. Bobsledders aren’t high paid pro athletes like you see on TV,” Meyers wrote.
Lolo Jones is a controversial figure. Her comments and sometimes revealing truth isn’t always welcomed in the dreamy world of the Olympics.
In this case, the amount of money athletes get paid is no laughing matter.
What do you think?
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