Lebron James

Professional Athletes Are Worthy of Their Pay

Black Athletes

Although many people think professional athletes make too much money, they deserve the money they earn.  Professional athletes provide professional team owners with the highest quality talent and skills available in the world for the positions they fill.  When you’re hiring the best available people in the world for the positions you have, those individuals are worthy of earning lucrative salaries.  Professional sports team owners are multi-billionaires who make billions more off of the athletes they employ.  Unfortunately, the significant income disparities between professional athletes and professional team owners are overlooked.  Many people see athletes making millions and fail to realize the owners are raking in billions by giving what’s pocket change to them to the athletes responsible for their continual prosperity.  Yes, many professional athletes are rich, especially baseball, basketball, and football players.  In comparison to money their team owners receive, these professional athletes are making minimum wages or less.

Deeply underlying many people’s arguments against professional athletes earning the lucrative salaries they collect is a racist critique of the perceived realities of the professional sports economy.  One of those racist critiques of the perceived realities of the professional sports economy is it’s leading to too many black male millionaires.  While black men are becoming millionaires in the professional sports economy, it does not compare to the way white men become millionaires in the larger national economy.  Many racists contend that the professional sports economy threatens to upset white economic dominance.  This is such a ridiculous racist postmodern anxiety.  The number of black males receiving million dollar salaries in the professional sports economy is analogous to throwing pebbles in a pond—the number is insignificant in comparison to the number of whites who are millionaires.  Many racists are simply uncomfortable with seeing a black millionaire, especially a black male millionaire.  They try to camouflage their racial hatred for black people by asserting that making millions for playing sports is unjustified.

Last month, Lebron James defended the many millions he makes as a professional basketball player.  Although he’s right in explaining why he deserves to be paid such a significant amount of money, it’s time to expose the racism, prejudice and unsubstantiated arguments offered by many who question the legitimacy of professional athletes earning multi-million dollar salaries.  One has to wonder would this be such a highly discussed topic if there weren’t a conspicuous number of black men getting multi-million dollar salaries to play professional sports.

Lebron James

Professional athletes have elected to devote themselves to careers in sports and their career choices should be respected as you desire to have your career choices respected.

Do you believe professional athletes make too much money?  Why or why not?

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dan Gilbert’s Slave Master Mentality Exposed: A Response to Dan Gilbert’s Open Letter


Dan Gilbert

(Photo Credit: Standing O Sports)

Regardless of how you feel about Lebron James or what you think about how his decision to sign with the Miami Heat, one thing is clear: Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is not Lebron’s slave master. Just for those who are still unclear about this, the institution of slavery in America no longer exists. Unfortunately, some people still are hanging on to a slave master mentality. Dan Gilbert’s open letter (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5365704) in response to the decision of Lebron James to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat evinced his feeling that he “owned” this Black man. I have to admit that I was not particularly fond of how Lebron James made such a spectacle out of his free agent status, but it is important for us to undertand that this 25 year old NBA superstar does not owe anyone anything. Lebron is his own man and is entitled to make his own decisions.

Dan Gilbert is trying to act like he is so concerned about the people of Cleveland. Be real Mr. Gilbert—you are only concerned with how Lebron’s departure from your team is going to dramatically impact your organization’s bottom line. Your team is going to go from the best team in the Eastern Conference to the worst team in the entire league because Lebron decided not to re-sign with the Cavaliers. I want Dan Gilbert to be more honest about why he is angry with Lebron: He is so angry because he does not have a team now—Lebron was the team.

For Gilbert to try to say that Lebron is tremendously arrogant (and I would agree with him on that), he has to assess his own arrogance and cowardice in sending out an open letter on the internet trying to embarrass and lambast Lebron. You should have talked to him face-to-face like a man insteading of pulling this cheap move reserved for cowards. Lebron never made you any promises about re-signing with the Cavaliers. He always said that he was exploring all of his options because this is a business at the end of the day. In the end, Lebron made the decision that he felt would be the best business move for him and he went through with it. It is inexcusable to pen an open letter on the internet trying to suggest that he did your organization wrong simply because he did not re-sign with it. Mr. Gilbert, when did free agents become obligated to re-sign with any team? Never!

Dan Gilbert, you are a coward! If I had access to you, I would tell you in your face how I feel about your letter, but I do not have direct access to you. You, however, have direct access to Lebron but you elected not to directly contact him. Lebron did not betray the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland. This man is a businessman who made a business decision that was in his best interest. Dan Gilbert should understand that—he made a buisness decision when he employed Lebron. Remember that partner? Again, Mr. Dan Gilbert, you don’t own Lebron—lose your slave master mentality today!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison