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  • Writer's pictureAdam Aldad

Are Professional Athletes Paid Too Much?

In a world where some professional athletes are paid almost 100 times the salary of an average US teacher, it is no surprise that many people question why professional athletes get paid so much. Most recently, the Los Angeles Angels of the MLB (Major League Baseball) signed professional baseball player Mike Trout to a mind-boggling 12 year, $430 million dollar contract. By looking at the top four major US leagues, it is fairly clear to see that professional athletes receive a plethora of money. The MLB comes in first in highest average salary at $16.4 million per year per player. Then comes the National Basketball Association (NBA) at $11.9 million per year per player. Third comes the National Football League (NFL), where players are paid $9 million on average per year. Lastly, the National Hockey League (NHL) pays its players about $7 million per year per player. However, how much they are making is not as important as to why they are making so much compared to normal people.

So, why are these athletes making more money than most of us could ever dream of? Well, if you look at how much the players generate for their respective leagues, it's pretty clear that they deserve it. The NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL generated $13 billion, $9.5 billion, $4.8 billion, and $3.7 billion respectively in 2016. A large percentage of these revenues come from ticket sales and merchandise, which is made available by the players. Not only that, athletes need to put in countless hours of time in order to become a professional in any sport. In addition, sports induce lots of wearing and tearing on their bodies, which is often a struggle to recover from. Lastly, athletes have short career spans. Unlike most ordinary jobs, athletes usually retire when they are around 30 to 40 years old. In the eyes of most other professions, that would still be a relatively young age. In some ways, the athletes deserve the money that they are making.

However, some say that people should be paid according the their job’s economic importance and their value to society. The president, who is in some ways in control of our society, only makes $400,000 dollars per year. Teachers, who educate the future, make pennies compared to what athletes make. In addition, police officers, firefighters, and doctors constantly  save lives, while troops in the army are forced to leave their families. Meanwhile, none of these professions receive the same recognition that professional athletes do. In reality, athletes don’t provide much to society besides entertainment. For what entertainment is worth, many people agree that the millions of dollars that they get paid is way too much. At the very least, sports players should be good role models for kids, and therefore positively affecting our society’s future even more than just entertainment. However, many athletes don’t do this, as shown by drug use, criminal charges, and many other things that kids should not be looking for in role models.

Overall, the dispute over how much athletes should make is enticing. Personally, I agree with the premise that the players deserve the money they are making due to how much money that they are creating for the league they play in. Unlike many other ordinary jobs, players in pro sports create millions of dollars for their team owners. Through things like merchandise and ticket sales, they are producing much more money than they receive. Ultimately, although some people say that athletes make way too much money, they deserve it due to the amounts of money that they create.

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