Are professional athletes overpaid? This question continues to permeate conversations from the board rooms to locker rooms; to street corners and beyond. How much is too much money for an athlete to earn. Folks will argue that the money could be spent on increasing teachers salaries as they are responsible for sculpting the minds of the American youth. Athletes make more money in one day than most Americans will make in a lifetime. New York Times best selling author David Epstein posed the following question. “Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports?
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Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? ” If they are normal people should they receive normal salaries? However if they were put on ear to dominate their respective sports, shouldn’t they receive the millions that they demand for compensation. As an amateur golfer I played golf on my high school team and with the First Tee Program of East Lake in Atlanta, Georgia. I have been privileged to watch and work amonst some of the greatest golfers in the world to include Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar and Lee Westwood at the Fedex Classic in Atlanta Georgia.
I was able to serve as a standard bearer in 2012 for Matt Kuchar and Lee Westwood and . I’ve witnessed a sporting event first hand that draws in annual crowd of over 700,000 fans over a 4 day period for just one tour championship. With an average ticket price of $100 for two days of access; I believe that athletes earn every penny that they make. The Fedex Tour Championship rakes in more than seven hundred million dollars not inclusive of sponsorships, merchandizing, t. v advertisements, and revenue generated for the city that is hosting the event.
The prize money offered at the Fedex Cup Championship is miniscule in comparison to the overall money that is generated. Let’s not forget that these athletes essentially create jobs and keep people employed. Professional
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athletes are earning an average of 5- 10% of the total revenue generated from their respective sports. FedExCup Background Information “The PGA TOUR entered a new era in 2007 with the introduction of the FedExCup, a season-long points competition, offering $35 million in bonus money and culminating with the PGA TOUR’s first-ever Playoff system. In 2013, the four Playoffs events will offer $32 million in prize money,
meaning a total of $67 million is on the line over the four weeks of FedExCup Playoff competition. During the span of 37 weeks of competition, players vie to become the FedExCup champion, which distinguishes the one player who not only performs well during the 33-week PGA TOUR Season but also excels through the pressure of the four-event FedExCup Playoffs. Tiger Woods won the inaugural FedExCup in 2007 and the $10 million top prize. He won for a second time in 2009. Others to hoist the FedExCup trophy include Vijay Singh (2008), Jim Furyk (2010), Bill Haas (2011) and Brandt Snedeker (2012).
” Every sport varies in how they compensate athletes. However golf is preeminently different in that you do not get drafted. You must perform on your own ability or you don’t eat. When you consider the amount of practice and preparation that most athletes endure in order to perform well in their respective sport; many would argue that they are not paid enough. One bad accident, one torn ACL could result in a career ending injury. Just today Tiger Woods had to drop out of the Honda Classic because Of back spasms. He will not be compensated.
Whereas a normal person can work on a job for 30 to 40 years and retire; athletes only have a limited time span to work with the exception of golf. Professional athletes normally peak at their prime by the age of 30. “The average pro football career is only 3 and one-half years, according to the NFL Players Association, and a lot of the money that makes the contract-signing headlines will never be paid” . The wear and tear on their bodies is worth the compensation. Most athletes endure brutal, physical punishment on their bodies in order to provide people entertainment.
How do we measure the punishment that athletes are willing to endure for our entertainment in dollars and cents. I don’t believe that we can. Athletes are entertainers that wow us with their finesse on and off the courts. Athletes are akin to rock stars in this age of social media, twitter and international glamour. If we are willing to pay $300 to see Beyonce in concert, should we not be willing to pay $300 to see Kobe Bryant courtside. A few months back in Atlanta a battle was raging over if the city should foot a portion of the bill to build the Falcon’s a new stadium. There were
pros & cons for and against building a new stadium. The proponents for the stadium argued that a new stadium would generate much needed economic growth and jobs to the city. The same can apply to the salaries that athletes receive. Yes many athletes are paid millions of dollars to perform on and off the field. These same athletes bring money into a city; they generate jobs. The guy selling beer at a sporting event depends on professional athletes for his livelihood. In essence the athletes are simply getting a percentage of everything that relies on them being an athlete.
From the guy selling peanuts & beer at a Braves game to the Chinese worker working in a factory stitching together a jersey with Payton Manning’s Jersey Number on it. Athletes are simply stockholders in the game of professional sports. Stockholders receive minuscule amounts in comparison to the CEO of a fortune 500 company. Some Athletes hold more stock in the form of endorsement deals such as Michael Jordan and his Air Jordan Brand. Corporations are making millions of dollars off athletes and should compensate them accordingly Forbes ranking of the top 25 executives shows the following: John H.
Hammergren of McKesson Pharmaceuticals earned $131. 2 million; Ralph Lauren or Polo Ralph Lauren Apparel earned $66. 7 million and Michael Fascitelli of Vornado Realty Real Estate earned $64. 4 million. This reflects their annual salary and bonuses for 2013l If they were compensated in this manner then I would surmise that the overall corporation made 100 times this amount in annual revenue. Should the CEO of Facebook be paid less? Should the CEO of google not make billions of dollars? Athletes are business enterprises and they simply feed into the notion of supply and demand.
Athletes could not make the money they make without consumers/fans that are willing to pay to see their favorite athlete perform. Athletes are not paid nearly enough as the owners of these various franchise organizations are paid. Professional baseball players play 162 regular season games. During the offseason they must continually train to perfect their craft. We live in a capitalistic society where everyone has the opportunity to make money. The same fans that think athletes are overpaid wager millions of dollars on betting on games. If they win, no one asks them to forfeit their winnings.
Cons Society, the fans, and even owners of the teams think that professional athletes are overpaid in comparison to a normal person. Let’s assume sales associate makes $19 dollars an hour and works 40 hours a week, that means they made $760 dollars that week. If they were to keep working those same hours with no breaks or off days for a month they would have made 3,040 dollars in a month and $36,480 dollars for the year. Let’s take a professional football player making $9,600,000 for one year that means he makes $800,000 a month and $200,000 a week. This football player is making $1,190.
47 in one day. In one day, he may work 5 hours a day. Not including days off and the off season. If he gets injured, he is still guaranteed his salary . I understand why people do not think it is right for professional athletes to get paid as much as they get. For a weeks worth of salary a professional football player could pay for me and my friends to attend a four college. Many people feel that a person’s salary should be based on economic importance and the value that they provide for society. A Doctor saves lives, thus he is far more valuable than a professional athlete.
A police officer protects lives. The President of the United States, Barack Obama is the leader of the free world and he only receives $400,000 in annual salary. Drew Brees the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints is quoted as saying . “Unless you’re finding a cure for cancer or creating world peace, I don’t know if anybody deserves to get that much money. Even the players themselves think they get paid to much money. What is the purpose of paying all this money to athletes when most of them will be broke by the time they retire.
The money could be better spent on creating new jobs and assisting people. My Perspective I believe that professional athletes are not overpaid. When you think of all that they endure for our personal enjoyment. The amount of time spent perfecting their skill for our unadulterated viewing pleasure cannot be retrieved. Time is a valuable asset it is immeasurable. Fans play a big role in how much players are paid, from ticket sales endorsement deals and other revenue streams that are generated. Should the owners get all the money? I don’t believe so.
Athletes are their own corporations, they are the business. They are no different than a product being put on the market for sale. Fans are paying to see athletes so why shouldn’t they make the big bucks. As Peter Keating recently wrote in ESPN Magazine, “There’s just one problem with all our anger: It’s misplaced. As much as it drives us crazy to see the amount of money thrown at athletes these days, it’s time to recognize the real economic order of sports: Superstar athletes do not make too much money. If anything, they don’t make enough. ” My sentiments exactly.