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Are Athletes Overpaid?

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    Alec Morris Miss Murfee English 112 D-11 October 26, 2012 Are Players Overpaid? When sports exploded in the 1900’s athletes were paid like regular working citizens. Most athletes had to work over the summer to keep their mortgages paid. In present day, professional athletes are dished out astronomical salaries in exchange for their play. Many of these athletes have the opportunity to be set for life within the first years of their contracts. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are given multi-million dollar contracts.

    While these athletes are getting paid these ridiculous amounts of money, we have millions of hard working public service members that are getting the tiniest fractions of some of these contracts. In comparison, “each basket Kobe Bryant scores earns him equivalent to the average classroom teacher’s yearly salary” (Bhagat). It is clear that these players are making way too much money for their services, as it is immensely larger than the amount of money earned by the average person. Wouldn’t it be great to make over $100,000,000 a year?

    Michael Vick and other sports stars think so. But is that really a reasonable amount to be paying someone? These contracts are absolutely unequivocally unreasonable in comparison to the salaries of regular working people who contribute to our society more than an athlete ever will. Teachers are the most important part of our economies future as they are preparing our youth to step out and take on the world. These teachers are the backbone of our future society and yet our government does not give them enough money.

    Mihir Bhagat says, “the most important man in our nation, the president, who makes critical decisions that affect the entire world every day, only makes $400,000 a year. While President Obama is hard at work reviving the economy, the unproven rookie in the MLB is earning way over that figure. ” People in the military leave their families and put themselves in the line of fire for our country and they make the smallest fortune. How many athletes would put themselves in the line of fire to protect their country for less than 40k? Not very many.

    Surgeons, doctors, firefighters and police officers all make a fraction of what professional athletes make. These people are risking their lives every day to help better our society. Truly, an athlete can only benefit society so much. Athletes can inspire people, and give reason for hope. But public service people do the same thing while getting paid a prodigious amount less and complaining a lot less as well. If players are going to be making multi-million dollar contracts they at least need to be positive role models for young children in America.

    Several athletes get their big paychecks and feel that they are invincible rather than lucky and fortunate. NFL athletes like Michael Vick (dogfighting) and Plaxico Burress (shooting himself with a gun) set terrible examples for young children. When a young child looks up to an athlete and that athlete is arrested, the kid will say to himself, “I think I can break the law because I could still end up getting a big contract. ” Of course there are the good role models in professional sports like the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, but shouldn’t they all be good role models?

    Even across seas in Europe people believe that athletes are getting paid too much money. After the Swedish superstar soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed a 14 Million Euro contract per year with the French team Paris Saint-Germain, French citizens and politicians were appalled. “At a time when France’s economy is stuttering to a standstill and unemployment is on the rise, the player’s wages have left a sour taste in the mouths of many of the country’s politicians,” and as one politician stated, “These wages make me indignant and almost disgust me” (McPartland).

    With France’s 75% tax bracket on the top salaries in the country, PSG is paying Ibrahimovic 14 Million Euros, and will have to pay another 21 Million Euros to the government. So how could that even be worth it? I guess it is helping the government but it is just utterly ridiculous. In 2009, NFL defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth signed a seven year deal with the Washington Redskins worth over $100,000,000. Alexander Knight claimed that the Redskins front office had to release 23 employees in order to make room for the big signing. How could a team value one person higher han twenty three just because of a unique athletic ability? This shows the selfishness of some professional teams. Needless to say Albert Haynesworth was a total bust and he was released one season later after failing the teams physical fitness test numerous times. The National Hockey League’s minimum salary is $500,000. The NBA’s minimum salary is over $450,000, and the MLB has a minimum salary of $400,000. So just to start out in any of these leagues, every single player is already making the same if not more than the President of the United States.

    Now the President not only makes important decisions that affect the course of our country, but he can also affect what happens in the entire world. How could an 18-year-old rookie pitcher with no experience professionally be started out on a base salary making more money than the president? One should be paid according to the value they serve to society. That statement holds no water when talking about professional athletes. It is so clear that these athletes’ salaries are not equal to their value to society.

    If so, the president would be making a lot more, and athletes would make a lot less. Works Cited Bhagat, Mihir. “Oakland Raiders. ” Bleacher Report. N. p. , 21 Mar. 2010. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://bleacherreport. com/articles/366795-do-athletes-get-paid-too-much-money>. Carew, Chrissy, and Won M. Kim. “Are Pro Athletes Paid Too Much? ” Are Pro Athletes Paid Too Much? 19 Sept. 2011: n. pag. EBSCO. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. Knight, Alexander. “Athletes Make Too Much Money. ” The Gramblinite. N. . , 19 Mar. 2009. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://www. thegramblinite. com/sports/athletes-make-too-much-money-1. 22378>. McPartland, Ben. “Ibrahimovic’s PSG Salary ‘disgusts’ French Politicians. ” FRANCE 24. N. p. , 19 July 2012. Web. 19 Oct. 2012. <http://www. france24. com/en/20120718-france-politicians-slam-disgusting-salary-psg-zlatan-ibrahimovic-football-tax-wages>. Scholastic. “Are Actors & Athletes Overpaid? ” Scholastic Scope 15 Oct. 2007: 22-23. EBSCO. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.

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