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.
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
- This Is Why So Many Professional Athletes Are Going Broke (businessinsider.com)
- Media Sports and Money Talk: What Really is Important Here? (leisapath.wordpress.com)
- The 10 Best Careers In Sports (forbes.com)
- Millionaire athletes look to flee California’s 13.3% income tax… (foxnews.com)
- Kobe Bryant tops Forbes’ list of top NBA earners (m.si.com)
- Tom Brady Says All NFL Players Make ‘More Than Fair Share’ (manolith.com)
- Joe Flacco Celebrates Record-Breaking Contract with Trip to McDonald’s (bleacherreport.com)
- Is Flacco Worthy of NFL’s Top Salary? (newsy.com)