Millionaire Athletes: Are They Really Worth It?

Being promised a salary of $500 million over 10 years is a dream many would envision. If you are a part of the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL you might be promised something similar. Talk to the quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, while the Kansas City Chiefs constructed a 10 year contract promising him $500 million or Lebron James making $153 million in 4 years for the Los Angeles Lakers! But do these athletes really deserve the money?

Playing any professional sport is a dream come true that requires patience. Student athletes work extremely hard to get into a university with a  recognized athletic department. In the NBA,  good enough players will be recruited out of high school in which LeBron James and Kobe Bryant both experienced. LeBron James was the first draft pick in 2003. He has certainly lived up to his reputation as many claim he is the best player along with Michael Jordan.

If a player is recognized, one might decide to sign with an athletic company such as Nike or Adidas. Contracts will be signed and millions of dollars later, apparel and shoes are made. The Air Jordan brand was Nike and Michael Jordan’s collaboration back in 1984. The company has been very successful and brought in billions of dollars for Nike. Fans of the player/team will instantly grab these items. Most of the apparel and shoes created by the athletes sell out so quick retailers mark up the prices.

A long time sports fan states, “they have talent”(Dan Fitzpatrick) It must be rewarding for an athlete to play professionally. Although they are outstanding players, is their salary justified? 

The profession of teaching is controversial when it comes to their salary. “Up to a quarter of teachers leave their profession every year and about 20% of teachers resort to second jobs”(Tala Hadavi- CNBC) Teachers are responsible for grades, tests, homework, parents, emails, and one on one student interactions. Their jobs are all day long even off official hours. 

Let’s examine the highly paid profession, doctors. To become a fully licensed doctor, doctors go through at least 10 years of education. Doctors are saving lives daily. Without a doubt, doctors make a decent amount of money. I do not believe doctors are making 500 million dollars in 10 years. 

The media posts athletes up on a pedestal. Along with playing and training for games, being a role model is a responsibility with the job. Children have bought merchandise from their favorite players thinking they will be just like them. Sportsshow.come claims the following athletes: “Lance Armstrong(Bicyclist), Alex Rodriquez(MLB), Ray Rice(NFL), Marion Jones(Track and Field Gold Medalist)”(Sourav) have all been caught using steroids to improve their performance. The following athletes have been seen as role models, but their steroid use disproves this title. These high salaries encourage athletes to break the league rules with enhancement drugs.  

The future of paying athletes is now up for consideration by the NCAA (National College Athletic Association). The question pending is should college athletes be paid? Student athletes are being paid in the form of their scholarships and education they receive at school. 

We need to stop holding athletes with such high regard and focus on the professions such as educators and doctors. Doctors, healing the world and teachers, educating the future are impacting the world in such ways athletes could never. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected doctors and teachers in tremendous ways. Doctors have been attacked with the virus, risking their health; teachers, working from home to educate students while athletes make millions of dollars.