Essay on Athlete's Pay

Submitted By brookenr16
Words: 2198
Pages: 9

Professional Athlete’s Contracts Sporting events have become the center of attention on the television screen and more people participate in watching these events than ever before. Sports have the tendency to bring people of all kinds together no matter their social class, gender, or race. All of the people are there for the same reason, to see their favorite team win. However, with this joy and home-team-pride, comes controversy. The total income that professional athletes receive has been debated and disputed countless times amongst opinionated fans, dedicated reporters, money-hungry agents, and even the players themselves. Some of the population believe that athletes are undeserving of their contracts and that they get paid a ridiculous amount of money; they also say that it is wrong for them to receive a greater paycheck than firefighters, doctors, and policeman who risk their lives and save the lives of others every day. The other portion of the population feels as though each player rightfully earns their wages because they put a lot of hard work, time, and energy into their job and they see it as a form of entertainment to the world, much like movies and television are. Let’s take a look at how a selected few of people justify their side of the situation and what opinions they place on this issue. In today’s society, professional athletes bring home a bigger paycheck than the above-average working American. People question how playing a game can attribute to such a high salary compared to a job of higher importance. These same people, like the author Del Jones who writes for USA Today, see the contracts of athletes as something too outlandish and not within reason. In his essay “Are you proud of your job?” Del Jones states, “There is little correlation between prestige and money. Harris Interactive found that firefighters, teachers, nurses and police officers all score well on prestige, while the prestige of professional athletes has fallen as their incomes have risen” (Jones). Prestige means a certain reputation, or influence depending on it (Webster). Prestige is used in the last quote to describe the social rank and importance of athletes compared to firefighters and similar purpose jobs. People use the fact that athletes are less prestigious than firefighters but still manage to attain a higher income, to fuel their anger towards the athletes’ contracts. A person’s job doesn’t have to be very prestigious in order to make tons of money and this bothers many people.
Ashley Walker, both a writer and editor of sports issues, thinks that we as a community need to wake up and take a stand against the high paying contracts in athletics. In her article “What Do Athletes Salaries Say About American Values?” she says, “The average brain surgeon makes $450,000 a year. A social worker makes around $46,000. A teacher, even in Connecticut, the highest paying state, only makes an average of $63,000. So, a person who saves lives, a person who protects and serves struggling families, and a person who shapes and molds young minds makes a mere fraction of what sports stars make” (Walker). It was said that of the top ten professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association, the average salary for this year’s basketball season was 19,930,804 dollars (ESPN). So compared to the basketball players’ salaries, what a teacher living in Connecticut makes is mere pocket change. Back in the year 2010, the L.A. Lakers basketball team’s number one player Kobe Bryant racked in a total of twenty-three million dollars (ESPN). Surprisingly enough, that large amount of money did not include the cash he was paid from sponsors and other endorsement deals he had alliances with (ESPN). This just shows how gigantic of a paycheck each athlete sees throughout their contract. Throughout her article, Walker continues to express her disapproval of athlete’s salaries. She continues on to state that, “Matthew Stafford, the rookie