Homestory timeProfessional athletes are overpaid

Professional athletes are overpaid

I was riding in the car with a friend a while back when they said something along the lines of “Professional athletes are overpaid.” While I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement (Alex Rodriguez), I can’t share the same sentiment. Yes, they may make more money in one game, than some Americans will make in their entire lives, but can ya really blame ’em?

The odds for Joe Blow becoming a professional athelete are slim…. 22,000 to 1 to be exact. That works out to about a 0.0045% chance. Did you know you have better odds at getting two hole in ones and bowling a perfect 300? You also have a better chance at marrying a millionaire, being murdered (let’s hope that doesn’t happen), being audited by the IRS, or developing hemorrhoids. Basically, becoming  a professional athlete is tough.

I thought this conversation was about athletes salaries, not about how difficult it is to become one?

Oh don’t you worry, it is about salaries. Professional athletes are the best of the best. Can you think of a position where the “best in the business” don’t make a boat load of money? Look at the creators of the fortune 500 largest companies….guess what? All of them are millionaires. As a matter of fact, they make a whole bunch more than even the highest paid athletes. Should we say actors salaries should be capped? How about scientists, computer developers, and real estate developers too?

People get all pissy when they hear Kobe is making $17 million a year, but no one seemed to care when three 20-something guys created YouTube, to later sell it to Google for $1.65 billion. Does Kobe make a lot of money? Heck yea, he does, but what right to I have to restrict his pay?

Ya see, professional athletes get paid what they’re worth. If they make a big salary, they are probably drawing in a large fan base. In virtually all private sector positions, the higher your skill level the higher your pay will also be. Instead of being bitter that A-Rod signed a $250 million contract, go fine tune your skills and move yourself up the corporate ladder.

What do you think peeps? Are professional athletes overpaid? Should there be pay-caps? I totally think limiting players salary, would be anti-capitilism. Do you disagree?

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  1. Nice timing with this post considering the government wants to tax banking CEO's. I don't think athletes are a corrupt bunch of people, they are paid by their fans and businesses that want that athlete's endorsements. Government and big businesses on the other hand are quite corrupt, stealing taxes through pet projects and bailouts. Tiger Woods got hit big in the pocket with his failures, banks and insurance companies got bailed out on their failures. I feel government is becoming a bit more socialist with the health care deal, and I fear heavy taxes will follow. I hate being so negative, but it is just what I see these days.

  2. Sorry to say but if you look at professions with salary caps that breed mediocrity (government employees) you will see uninvested individuals because they know they will get paid even if they don't "play" or perform.
    I agree that athletes should make what they can as we all should. We negotiate our own deals going in and you can not hate the new guy/gal for being better at negotiation then you were if he/she is paid more.

  3. Another reason I think professional athletes get paid so much is that playing sports isn't something they are going to be able to do forever. Their bodies are going to wear out. We talk about a 35 or 40 year old athlete as being ready to retire. So until he hits a real retirement age, he's going to have to either live on the money he's already made, or find other work. Hopefully he will have invested well, and many of them do go on to coach or do commentary or endorsements, etc. But really, playing professional sports is a career that generally doesn't last more than 20 years or so. I think it's something to take into consideration.

    Market value is probably the biggest reason for the huge salaries, though, and while I admit I often choke when I hear their signing bonuses or salaries, if someone is willing to pay them that amount, I don't have a problem with them earning it.

  4. I have no problem with athlete salaries. My cousin played in the NFL for 17 seasons, which is unheard of. He was lucky–he actually shattered his ankle his rookie season and had to be converted from running back to fullback, where he excelled. He made less as a fullback, but will tell anyone that his career would have been half as long had he remained as a running back. He retired at the beginning of the 2009 season and he's 38. He's now either got to find another job or live off that money for the next 50 years, and let me tell you, with his freeloading father, living off of that money is going to be a hard-fought task!

  5. I wouldn't have any problem with their salaries if the sports teams built their own stadiums. The team's and player's profits are built upon huge bonds that are financed by the people in the area, who may or may not have ever wanted a stadium built.

    The Pontiac Silverdome is still being paid for by the taxpayers of Michigan. It is now abandoned, and the new stadium, Ford Field, was paid for in part by the taxpayers of Michigan. I'm sure most of the stadiums around the country were paid for by the taxpayers in their areas. They should at least have some say about the goings on in those stadiums. (But not total say).

  6. As in any business, if you are providing a product/service then your compensation will be tied to the amount you bring. Considering these guys bring in millions and millions of dollars, better it goes to them than the owners pockets. I would love to see some overhaul in all major sports (ie ticket prices, tv deals and blackout rules, revenue sharing) but bottom line is this is a capitalistic enterprise and thus, the compensation is in line with the revenue generated.

  7. No… they get paid market value. You know and use their names, your watch their games, you buy the crap they endorse. We (and the populist idiots who think they get paid too much) are the reason they get paid as much as they do.

    There shouldn't be individual pay caps, and that is anti-capitalism.

    I do agree with team salary caps, as it levels the field (kinda).

  8. Pro careers are different. They are basically prostitutes: the sell their bodies. And they have a shorter shelf life than most workers.
    Different issue for me if we talk business earnings. Does Bill Gates or the Walton family need those billions? At least they built something. I'd have no problem with a cap on some CEO pay… incentivize it. Tie it to company performance and don't make it 700 times the average employee salary. In some ways I wish the pro athletes would do some incentive-based pay as well: Tie your salary to individual goals, but also team accomplishment. More wins = mo money.

  9. When I read the title of your post, I thought "Duh". Yes, they are overpaid. No, I don't think there should be pay-caps. If the fools who hire them want to pay $125 for a baseball player, let them.

  10. They'll get paid as long as you are willing to pay $7 for that hot dog or $8 for that beer (or and keep the change). Or pay $275 for the pitchers jersey (which probably cost $2 – made in china!). And as long as you are willing to pay $50 to $75 for tickets, I guess they "could" be paid that much.

  11. I agree with you Ninja. I don't like it when they try to cap anyone's salary. I don't want them telling me how much I can make either.

    Just found this blog and I like your perspective. Good job.

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