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Are athletes overpaid?

By: Eddy Monduy

Sports are the world’s biggest form of entertainment. Fans throughout the entire world attentively follow their favorite franchise and admire the beauty of the game. We adore the display of skills shown by top world class athletes in various sports. While we all love these teams and players, one question seems to remain unanswered through various debates over the past few decades: “Are athletes overpaid”? A recent research survey found that around 59% of the population believed athletes were overpaid. “The money can go for a better cause” said a young man from Boston. More purposeful entities such as organizations that help the homeless, cancer research institutes, and our armed forces deserve these funds that are poured into the sports arena. The fact that the president earns less money than a very high percentage of professional players is quite shocking.

Photo: Priscilla Molliner

People such as sports analysts constantly debate over whether athletes are indeed overpaid. Such a high salary must require near perfect performance, yet these athletes make mistakes all the time. Alex Rodriguez, third baseman for the New York Yankees earns an average of 200,000 dollars per game, yet he only gets a hit 27% of the time. A lawyer with 11+ years of experience makes up to $170,000 per year, including perks, that’s less than what A-rod makes in one game! LeBron James, arguably the best player in the NBA, earns 251,760 dollars after each game. The highest-paid type of doctor averages just over $500,000 per year. In just two games, James earns more than a doctor will in a year; a professional who saves lives and holds the fate of other human beings in his hands gets paid less than an athlete.

Some people argue that athletes spend their entire lives training and sacrificing their body to play the sports they love. Whether they deserve the millions or not is a different question; athletes don’t choose their salaries, the industry does. The reason their paychecks are so gigantic is because fans choose to spend money on game tickets, jerseys, calendars, mugs, etc. Each franchise makes a certain amount of money and the player’s salary is derived from that amount.

It all comes down to capitalism; the more money the world of sports makes thanks to us fans, the more money the players are paid. Athletes are not overpaid but they do earn too much money. This doesn’t make much sense but in reality, how is someone who earns such a small percentage of the profits (compared to what the franchise makes) considered overpaid? Compared to doctors, yes they make more money; but compared to the owner of the team, they don’t. Athletes earn way too much money that I believe can be used for more significant purposes. Since their salary comes from the franchise’s earnings, it is not the players who are overpaid, the sports industry has such a high income that the players benefit from it. Even though professional athletes do earn too much money each year, they’re technically not “overpaid”.

7 Comments on Are athletes overpaid?

  1. I agree they are over paid…

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  2. Like this comment

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  3. being overpaid and earning too much money are the same thing! You can’t say they aren’t overpaid but they earn too much money! I agree they are overpaid, but you need to learn what being overpaid and earning too much means…

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    • Hi Melody,
      Thank You for replying to our article. If taken out of context, yes the phrase could be considered an oxymoron; however, if you continue to peruse the article, you will encounter the section where it explains that an athlete’s overall pay is minor in comparison to what the franchise gains from their work. Therefore, the athlete’s ‘market value’ and worth justifies their salary.

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  4. my point exactly, athletes getting paid a lot is all about us being a capitalist country. professional athletes cant be overpaid nor underpaid because what that profession is not exactly “work”.

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