We’ve all heard about Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, or Babe Ruth. No matter what we do, we can’t escape sports because they are ubiquitous. The Superbowl, the most televised event in of all America, has become an American tradition for families to sit around the TV watching it. With all of the fans that these athletes attract, they bring in lots of money for the sponsors, the team, the coaches, and of course, for themselves (Stein). However, this poses the question of whether these athletes are being overpaid.
The average basketball player is paid around $13.5 million per year and the highest paid basketball player being paid around $35 million this year. Some may be wondering where the absurd amount of money is coming from and why it is going to these basketball players instead of doctors who save lives every day and teachers who provide education for everyone (Pro Athletes Are).
Okay, so you’re not a professional athlete, neither am I, but I am sure that at some point of your life you have either taken part or have watched a sporting event whether it was televised or in real life. Every summer, the top two teams from the NBA go head to head in a maximum of 7 games to determine who is the champion of the season. Last year, I was watching the Warriors battle the Cleveland Cavaliers which are two household names in the world of basketball.
While I was watching the game, I remember telling myself, “Wow, that's a lot of people in one stadium”
Then I remember asking myself, “How many people are in that stadium?”
An average NBA stadium can house over 20,000 people at once. That is over 20,000 tickets sold in one night (Sundar).
The following week I went to a baseball game in Boston where I got to watch the Boston Red Sox go head to head against their rivals, the New York Yankees. This time, instead of seeing the crowd on the T.V, I got to experience it first hand.
The pushing and shoving.
All of it.
It felt like the whole world was in one place. All the shops, restaurants, and popcorn stations were full of people. At one point, my family had to hold hands with each other so we would make sure that we would not get lost.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s the professional athletes who attract the fans that pay money for the tickets, that pay the streaming accounts, and that buy their apparel. Going back to my last point, athletes have tons of fans that want to be just like them. These fans are the ones that go out and buy the athletes’ jerseys, the team football helmet, or a poster. Along with this, basketball players make signature shoes that are selling at an alarming rate (Miller). “Nike sold $340 million worth of James signature shoes in the last 12-months through January, up 13% from the prior year, according to Sportscaninfo” (Badenhausen). Not only do they sell tickets, but these athletes are role models and have people that look up to them. These fans will buy their shoes to be just like them.
Athletes attract their crowds and bring in the money they receive. But athletes don’t work as hard as people like neurosurgeons or Harvard professors, right?
These athletes have trained their whole lives pushing their bodies to the limits and sometimes on the verge of injuries. They put the 10,000 hours in to become the best athlete they can become. They suffer hours and hours of hard work to get the smallest results and yet they still push through and continue to work (5 Reasons Athletes).
These professional athletes deserve to earn the money they receive.
And they are not overpaid.