I have been hearing for a LONG time that athletes are overpaid. Everytime I hear that, I think too myself, is it true or is coming from a place of jealousy. Let me first start and say that a lot of athletes (basketball, football, baseball, hockey, etc) are away from their families and friends then people really think. They are traveling from state to state mostly every week. People also have to take in consideration that athletes are entertainers, and entertainers are paid to entertain. Its basically a supply and demand type of world. Its just the way the sports economics is setup. The fans are the ones supplying the money for these players paychecks. And another thing, athletes are putting their lives on the line a lot more than your average typical person on a daily basis whether its during practice or and actual game. Athletes damage their bodies almost every week and deal with injuries like a Torn ACL, Achilles Tendon, Concussions, Hamstring Pulls, Dislocated Shoulder, Broken Foot, etc.
Now lets just think about it for a second, imagine breaking a part of your body, having to go for surgery, rehab out of surgery for a couple of weeks or months, getting back into game shape, and then possibly damaging another part of your body, and going through all of that process again. That is crazy and very hard to deal with mentally. Knowing your going to have to miss out on the thing you love to do because of these injuries. Some people complain and say why don’t doctors, teachers, police officers, firefighters get paid as much as athletes? Back to my earlier point. Athletes are in the entertainment business, and this doesn’t only go for athletes, this goes for musicians, actors and anyone else who is involved with the entertainment industry. People pay a lot of money to see musicians perform, actors become different characters on the big screen, to see a basketball go through a hoop, to see a ball get kicked through a net, a ball get a hit by a bat, and a ball get thrown for yards. And I am not taking anything away from teachers, doctors, cops, etc. But the truth of the matter is, those professions don’t demand a high entertainment value as a professional athlete or musician.
When it comes to the music business, singers, rappers, Dj’s make a big profit of their money from doing concerts and touring around the country or out of the country. Artist like the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Roger Waters, U2, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and some other atist has grossed the most selling tours of all time. People love music, so when their favorite artist are doing tours or selling a album, people are going to gravitate to that and spend money, which results in a big paycheck for these artists. When you can supply a certain purpose for a company, you can demand your worth. That is why sports have free agency. When a player’s contract ends and he or she is eligible for a new contract, depending how good they are, they can demand more money for their talent. That equates to any type of business. If you are a head manager at a bank, and another bank company wants you to come work for them, if you are that good at you job, you can negotiate the type of salary you want. And if the company feels that you will be a huge asset for them, they will oblige to your wishes.
To take something else in consideration, athletes can be traded( unless their contract has a no trade clause) or released from a team at any time. Which means if that specific athlete has a spouse and kids, they will have to move to a different state, the kids will have to start a different school, make new friends, be in a different environment. That is a lot for a kid to go through if their parent is in a profession like that, and can have their life go from living in New York to living in California, Georgia,Texas, or Maryland just in a blink of an eye.
Don’t get me wrong, you have entertainers out there who make a lot of money and get themselves in situations that put their careers in jeopardy, that makes some people question why is that person making all of that money and screwing it up for themselves? That being said, I do believe we live in a society that is very high with resentment and jealousy, and seeing someone make millions of dollars yearly while they are making way less than that can bring out some type of anger and hate to say the least. I guess the saying “Players are going to play, and haters are going to hate” is a true statement.