Imagine earning up to $100 million for racing or playing a favorite game. Athletes are living up to their hopes of becoming a global millionaire by using their innate gifts. Sporting practices have become a source of income for many in the world, particularly young people. There are a variety of sports events, such as basketball, boxing, athletics and swimming, among others. Participants in such athletic events must train enough to play well and win different prizes. Many nations, including developed countries, have their sportsmen and women to represent them at different tournaments and championships (Soonhwan and Hyosung 4). The participants earn various gold medals and such gold, silver, and bronze, is compensated. Professional athletes are paid too much money while other important professionals, such as doctors, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and EMTs, manage with meager salaries.
Sporting activities attract millions of fans worldwide, especially in the United Sates who come to watch matches, various track and field events, and acting among others (Ingold and Novy-Williams). The greatest concern is the amount that the athletes pocket every year after playing a game for 90 minutes. Although they spend time practicing, the amount of salaries paid are quite high compared to other professionals who spend years in school training for careers that do not guarantee a good pay. For instance, specialists, health professionals, such as doctors, may spend up to 8 years in college, but their salaries are quite law. In this paper, salaries for athletes will be addressed and compared with earnings in other professions, which are highly paid. Although different countries have different compensation rates for athletes, the amount is high compared to other professions.
Professional athletes are paid too much for participating in world competitions and entertaining people compared to other professionals, such as health professionals and lawyers, who spend a lot of money and time training for their careers. Most of the athletes use their natural talents and do not need to go to school like other professionals who have to spend more than 6 years training. Athletes only need coaches to guide and help them during practice. Some start earning huge salaries at a very young age having little knowledge about financial management. Consequently, some of them misuse their earnings instead of investing in their future. To understand the level of income gap between athletes and other professionals, statistics on salaries is important. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Healthcare Occupations, the highest median wage for medical professionals is $187,200 per year paid to physicians and surgeons, with a doctoral or professional degree. The salaries for other categories are lower revealing a huge income disparity between health professionals and athletes. People who have spent years in training to become experts are earning less income comparing to athletes who only need to do physical exercises and earn millions. Looking at the amount paid to the highest-ranking medical professional and comparing it with hundreds of millions paid to athletes, it is clear that the latter earn too much.
Athletes are paid too much for engaging in the activities such as playing soccer, basketball, tennis, and golf. Such sports are supposed to be hobbies of athletes, but they are paid for just engaging in their hobbies which they have turned into careers. Other professionals have to attend colleges to receive skills before they enter into the job market, but athletes only need to practice assisted by professional coaches and start earning millions of dollars per year. As indicated by 2016 report by Forbes, athletes earn huge salaries and endorsements. According to Forbes (2007), the highest paid soccer player, Christiano Ronaldo, earned $88 million followed by Lionel Messi with $ 81.4 million. Clearly, this proves that athletes earn too much for participating in sports. From the figures, it is quite evident that the earnings are too high, yet other employees in the government and private sector earn very little. Complaints about high levels of unemployment and joblessness emerge every day, yet athletes take home millions of dollars. If their salaries were regulated, the money could be used for projects that can help in creating job opportunities for other workers. Salaries and endorsements for athletes are quite high, yet millions of people are jobless while others earn very little.
Majority of the athletes are paid huge sums of money for very short contracts forcing fans to pay high prices to watch the games. In addition, there is an increase in government spending on sports. If their salaries were reduced, a country could save a lot and invest in other areas, other than entertainment. Furthermore, low-income earners may also have a chance to watch world games since they will be made available. Now, only people earning high incomes can pay for tickets charged in stadia during competitions (Soonhwan and Hyosung 4). Most of the fans have to watch their favorite games on television screens since they cannot pay the cost charged in stadia. The athletes only practice for a few months but are paid millions, and fans have to be overcharged to maintain such salaries. Governments are also overwhelmed since money that could be used for developments is used to pay athletes salaries, transport, as well as accommodation costs during championships and competitions. According to reports, the US spends over $500 million dollars to help athletes in achieving their dreams of winning medals (Ingold and Novy-Williams). This money can be channeled to other sectors, such as health and labor to boost the quality of life of many people instead of funding a few athletes. Fans also pay addition fees for quality parking, accommodation, meals, and other personal expenses. All these costs can be reduced if the salaries of the athletes, especially the highly paid ones are reduced to manageable levels. Salaries for athletes are very high leading to huge government spending and overcharging of fans, thus, should be moderated.
On the other hand, employees deserve the high salaries since they generate huge incomes for teams and the nation. For instance, the highly paid employees have very many fans worldwide and their fame helps in generating more income in various sectors, such as entertainment, advertisements, and clothing among others. For instance, people love wearing garments, such as T-shirts, caps, shoes, bearing names of renowned athletes, such as Ronaldo leading to high sales of such items. Ticket sales, broadcast agreements, and other incomes from sponsors of teams constitute some of the earnings for athletes. Other incomes come from spectator fees at events, transfer fees of professional sport players, such as sale of sportsmen and women to other clubs, and commercial sponsorship. Since athletes help in generating incomes, they deserve to be paid well. In addition, more is generated from membership fees, clothing, and equipment sales, fundraising, and selling of food and drinks in clubhouses among others. According to research between 1999-2003 televisions, broadcasts by ESPN (ABA & ESPN2) generated $600 million (Ingold and Novy-Williams). Athletes may be used in advertising of various products in TV commercials and are paid a lot of money for product promotion. This shows that athletes engage in sports, as well as activities that generate more income compared to other professionals. This reveals that athletes attract million of dollars in income and, therefore, deserve the huge salaries.
In conclusion, professional athletes are highly paid compared to other professionals in fields such as health, education, and law. Being paid millions of dollars every year for engaging in sporting activities is unfair since the money can be channeled to other sectors to lessen the wage gap. Their huge salaries increase government spending and force fans to pay huge fees to watch games and cater for other expenses. If the salaries were reduced, the fans would pay less and low-income earners will afford the charges for sports fans. On the other hand, professional athletes generate income from TV commercials, sponsorships, and sale of equipment and clothes, thus, they deserve huge salaries. However, paying them huge salaries ruins the economy since it leads to overcharging of fans and huge spending by governments on medals, thus, should be reduced. There is a need for further research on athletes salaries in the world for comparison purposes since they vary from one country to another.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Healthcare Occupations. 2017. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm . web.
David Ingold and Eben Novy-Williams. “Money for Medals: Inside the Performance-Driven Funding of U.S. Olympic Teams”. Bloomberg.Com, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2016-olympics-usoc-return-on-investment/. Web.
“Forbes Welcome”. The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes. Forbes.Com, 2017, https://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/#tab:overall. Web.
Soonhwan, L., and C. Hyosung. “Economic Values of Professional Sport Franchises in the United States.” The Sport Journal: Special Edition 5.2 (2002).