It is easy to proclaim that all athletes are overpaid when compared to teachers, truck drivers or almost any other profession. While there are certainly cases of athletes that make enormous salaries, it is a little misleading to say that sports players are overpaid. Here are five things to consider when thinking about the issue.
Now, when you watch a football game, you will see an athlete get 30 minutes of actual playing time. While this seems relatively easy, it is not in the slightest. Think about it for a minute, for an athlete to play at the top of his or her game, they must start crafting their sport at a young age. When looking at the greatest athletes in most sports, you will notice that they started young. To understand this further, you simply need to look at the greats like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods who started well before their peers. When looking at this, you will understand that an athlete probably put in thousands of hours before taking the playing field at a professional level.
Training all the time
As mentioned, it is easy to watch a game and think the player has it easy. On the other hand, when thinking about most major sports, it is obvious that the athlete takes time to prepare for the game. For example, in baseball, participants will work out in the offseason and attend preseason training. Furthermore, during the season, athletes will have to practice a couple of hours a day. For this reason, it is obvious that the most talented people work hard at their craft all the time.
Short playing career
When working in the corporate world, you can put in 30-40 years without much trouble. This is in stark contrast when compared with most major sports. Often, a football player will have a two or three-year life span in the league. In baseball and basketball, one can play 10-15 years. Without a doubt, this is not a long career and a person must understand that an athlete will go back to a normal paying job once their career finishes.
Contracts are misleading
It is easy to make the news by announcing a new 100 million dollar contract. However, when taking a deeper look, the numbers do not always add up. For starters, most of the money in sports contracts comes without a guarantee; this is especially true in football where one injury can leave a participant on the outside looking in. Furthermore, when looking at the overall income, one must think more deeply and realize the athlete will have to pay a lot of taxes.
Believe it or not, when walking away from their beloved game, many athletes will struggle with their day-to-day life. This is certainly true in football and, to a lesser extent, in all major sports. Not only do most athletes have to deal with concussions, but they also have to deal with nagging injuries. Since this requires a lifelong outlay of cash and time, many end up suffering later in life.
Look at the average
Of course, when looking at the start players, one can argue that some athletes enjoy salaries that are too high. But, if you look at most players, you will see that many make the league minimum. Remember, a relief pitcher who makes 500,000 a year is not doing better than a banker or executive.
While there are some athletes who enjoy enormous salaries, they are not always overpaid. In fact, when looking at the issue closely, it is obvious that many are not overpaid for the service they provide.