Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the amount of money flowing into athletic sports. With the development of the internet, clubs have increased viewership due to the growth of digital television. This has increased their revenues in vast amounts, resulting in 'obscene' rise in salaries for the athletes to keep them from the prying eyes of competitors. Talk of the enormous salaries to world football superstars Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the huge packages for National Basket Association (NBA) players in the United States. Money talks (Badenhausen forbes.com). These huge salaries have led many observers to question the rationale for paying athletes huge wages. The essay argues that professional athletes are not overpaid under the current practices.
In the United States, evidence suggests that NBA players are the most paid Athletes in the country. It has been established that in a five-year period, an average professional in the Major League Baseball(MLB) a player gets a salary of $17.9 million and that of an athlete in the NBA makes the revenues in the region of $24.7 million. Recent statistics suggest that average top MLB players earn approximately $16.4 million annually (Vollmer; County). These revenues may include salaries and promotion arrangements with various companies that sponsor the teams that participate in these leagues. The amount of money highlighted is quite offensive when compared with other professions or occupations. For instance, the highlighted figures suggest that the athletes are paid 100 times the salary of the average teacher in the country. Further, the most powerful person in the country, the President of the United States, earns an annual salary of about $400, 000(County). This shows how society discriminates against certain professions. Clearly, these huge salaries create a lot of imbalances in society since they are unfair to other professionals. Overall, the level of salaries suggests that athletes are overpaid highly.
Despite the evidence of huge salaries to athletes, it is vital to acknowledge that the sports in which the athletes participate involve operate like any other market. If a given market is profitable, then it means that there is more money that flows into the market. The availability of money makes it easier for clubs to engage in competition which results in increase in salaries and prices of players (Rogoff). Since players are in high demand, some clubs increase salaries to ensure that they stay with their present clubs. In other words, salaries have been used by clubs as a tool to extract loyalty from certain athletes (County; Worstall). This loyalty is not something earned but bought. As a result, huge salaries are paid. For those that fail to follow the trend, they find themselves in difficult situations and may perish if such conditions persist. Therefore, the huge salaries maintain clubs.
On the same note, clubs use salaries to attract the best athletes. There are many athletes outside there. But a small number is so exceptional that many clubs show the willingness to pay whatever amount to secure the services of such players. As a matter of principle, one has to pay a good talent well to get assurances that these individuals would stay at their clubs for the longest time possible (Worstall). Top talent needs to be compensated accordingly, or else it would be lost. As clubs strive to achieve this, salaries rise, creating a scenario where society feels that the athletes are being overpaid.
Since clubs operate like any other business enterprise, it is critical that they compensate employees (who are players in this case) with the right amount of money vis-a-vis what they make for the clubs. Athletes make a considerable amount of money for their employers. Which fan does not like watching the best play? Generally, fans love talent. Soccer fans love Messi and Ronaldo, NBA fans love LeBron James and other superstars; NFL fans love Tom Brady and Von Miller. Their skills attract huge crowds of fans to the sports venues. In many cases, fans pay highly priced tickets to witness their sports heroes play. Many others buy jerseys branded with their names at overpriced prices. These stars also earn revenue for their clubs through commercials and other television rights (County; Rogoff). These methods show that the players generate massive revenues for their clubs. If they generate huge profits, why not pay them handsomely? Considering the huge amount of profits the athletes generate for their respective clubs, it is only fair that they get paid highly because the club may never be as profitable in their absence.
In conclusion, athletes are paid hefty salaries. When compared to other professions, it is evident that they overpaid. This is seen in the huge income they receive from clubs on an annual basis. However, it is essential to recognize that clubs exist because of athletes. Without them, they would have no meaning. Moreover, the players generate massive revenues for the clubs. In a free market economy, people earn from what they generate. If they generate less give them less .If they generate more, pay them more. As such, athletes should be paid handsomely because they generate huge profits. Therefore, it is unfair to suggest that athletes are overpaid.
Badenhausen, Kurt. "The World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2017: Behind The Numbers." Forbes, 2017
County, Megan. "Are Athletes Getting Paid Far Too Much?" The Independent, 2014, neiuindependent.org/7655/sports/are-athletes-getting-paid-far-too-much/.
Rogoff, Keneth. "Public Applauds Huge Salaries for Sports Stars - while Business Stars get Abuse." The Guardian, [London], 2012.
Vollmer, Elizabeth. "Are Professional Athletes Overpaid?" The Waltonian, 15 Dec. 2014, waltonian.eastern.edu/sports/are-professional-athletes-overpaid/.
Worstall, Tim. "Celebrities: Why Do They Get So Much Money?" Forbes, 2011.
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