Panionios player Devin Sweetney contacted Sportando to talk about his situation in Greece.
Sweetney, who arrived in Greece two months ago, had to book flight ticket by himself after the president and the GM did not answer his phone calls and message in the last 48 hours.
Sweetney flew back to USA and re-joined his family today. After 48-hours of hiatus early this week the president called him and his agent but they will both take him to FIBA court for being late with payments for two months now.
“There are behind in bonuses and salary and I’m sure for some of teammates it’s worse. I’ve watched American one by one leave and I was going to be one of the guys to see this thru but not like this. I sent messages to GM or president since Saturday evening and I got no response” Sweetney told Sportando. “It is not about the money they owe me. It is about our safety. I was not going to be stucking in Greece without payments and without knowing if I could go back home in the next two months. The last straw for me was having to purchase my own ticket home after being ignored for days. I’ve been in consistent contact with managers and GMs till the virus broke, after that it was either excuses or complete silence on their end.”.
“They can’t treat player this way. It has to be all about the players and our safety. I booked my flight Monday, I left Tuesday morning. I enjoyed playing in Greece but the way I have been treated is a shame. Despite the back salary and bonuses I’m owed it’s not even about the money at this point my safety and well being and getting back to America to be with my son and family during this tumultuous time was number 1 priority. I have a kid at home, I have a family. It is not about basketball, it is more than basketball. I would think an organization of this magnitude would have not only communicated better but would be concerned about their international players safety at this time. We have families we need to get home to”
“They ignored me in the middle of a pandemic. And they were upset that I booked my own flight and I was not sticking around? How can they treat people like this?” the American continued. “The president got upset, talked to my agent but he is going to take him to the court. I have just been here for two months, I went to all practices, games. This coronavirus has gone around and I had to book my own flight with no payments, it is absurd”.
“It is craziness, I am 32 year-old, I have been a pro for ten years. If they don’t have the money, just say that. We are not gonna sitting around and be their slaves. Every week the president told us something different. Most of the Americans are gone. I was one of the players that was sticking around but now, it is going serious with coronavirus and you did not return my phone call? At least answer, let’s have some communication in the middle of a world crisis. It is not right. You don’t treat me this way and you think it is ok”.