We all love to watch the best athletes in the world do their thing, but do they really deserve to be paid as much as they are? There are doctors, soldiers, and other people doing far more important jobs who don’t get paid even a small percentage of what an athlete gets. Is this fair, or are athletes justified in demanding their enormous fees?
The price is the price
You could argue athletes are overpaid, but from their perspective, if someone is willing to pay them millions, then why would they say no? Could you really imagine saying no to your boss after they offer you a pay rise? Probably not, especially as more money is often the best way to living more comfortably.
Entertainment is expensive
Have you been to the theater recently? Tickets are not cheap, and the same principle applies to a live sporting event. If you want to be entertained, you’re going to have to pay what everyone else is willing to cough up, whether you like it or not. If you compared an athlete to a movie star, would you then consider their pay to be fair, knowing that some actors receive hundreds of millions of dollars each year?
Sport is a form of entertainment after all, and arguably there is more skill involved in becoming a top sports star than there is in being an actor. These athletes have dedicated their lives to their craft, often missing out on their social lives as young teens to train hard. That dedication should be rewarded, and for them, the huge salary is payment for the uncertainty of choosing a career in professional sports.
Protest with your dollars
The reason why athletes are paid so much is that people are willing to go to the games at $50-100 per ticket minimum or spend the money on TV subscriptions. Advertisers know there are over 100 million eyes on an event like the Super Bowl, so they know they can influence an awful lot of people at the same time. By refraining from going to live sports, or paying to watch it on television, you can impact how much athletes get paid. The problem is by doing so you are missing out on the sport you love.
Why they are overpaid
Some believe that despite the fact franchises are willing to pay top athletes, they should be doing more with their money. In soccer, Juan Mata has started a foundation where he donates a percentage of his huge salary to charity, something that several other stars are following. He is more or less an exception though.
Sports stars arguably don’t do enough to help the communities they represent by becoming role models, instead they often make headlines for the wrong reasons. Perhaps these stars should be more humble with the lifestyles fans have afforded them.
Morally it can be argued sports stars are paid too much when compared to lifesaving jobs of others, but economically their wages are justified. If they are being offered the huge wages there is no reason for them to turn them down.