A common misconception is that professional athletes are overpaid. However, when you compare their wages to other professions, it becomes clear that they are actually paid relatively fairly.
When looking at the average wage of a professional athlete, it is important to consider the amount of money that they bring in for their team or league. For example, the average salary for an MLB player was $4.47 million in 2019. However, the MLB generated $10.7 billion in revenue in 2018. This means that the players only make up 4% of the total league revenue. In comparison, the CEO of a company typically makes up around 10% of the company’s total revenue.
It is also important to consider the amount of time that athletes train and practice. The average NBA player works between 12 and 14 hours per day during the season. This includes travel time, practices, games, and meeting with coaches and team personnel. They also have to maintain their physical fitness year-round in order to stay in shape for the season. In comparison, the average American worker only spends around 8 hours per day at work.
When you compare the wages of professional athletes to other professions, it becomes clear that they are actually paid relatively fairly. When you consider the amount of money they bring in for their team or league, as well as the number of hours they work each day, it is clear that they are not overpaid.
Are Professional Athletes Underpaid? When sports began in the 1900s, athletes were paid like standard working people. To keep their mortgages current, most athletes had to work during the summer. In exchange for their play, contemporary professional athletes are given enormous sums of money. Within the first years of their contracts, many of these players have the prospect to be set for life.
The MLB minimum wage is $545,000 per year, and the maximum contract is worth over $300 million. With all of this money being thrown around, are professional athletes overpaid? The answer to whether or not professional athletes are overpaid is no, they are not.
Professional athletes are not overpaid because of the revenue they bring in. In 2019, the MLB brought in $10.7 billion in revenue. Out of that $10.7 billion, players received 47% of that total. That leaves teams with 53% of total revenue to cover expenses and make a profit. In 2019, the average player’s salary was $4 million.
If we take away what the players are entitled to, that still leaves teams with $6.7 billion. It’s also important to note that not all of that $4 million goes directly into the player’s pocket. A large portion of it is taken out in taxes. In the end, the players are only taking home a fraction of what they are actually being paid.
So if professional athletes are not overpaid, who is? The answer to that question is the team owners. In 2019, the MLB had 30 teams that were each worth an average of $1.78 billion. That means that the team owners raked in a combined total of $53.4 billion. If we compare that to what the players received, we can see that the team owners made 8 times as much as the players.
When it comes to whether or not professional athletes are overpaid, it’s important to look at the big picture. Yes, they are paid a lot of money, but they also bring in a lot of revenue. If we compare their salaries to the team owners’ profits, we can see that the team owners are actually the ones who are overpaid.
18 and 19-year-olds are handed multi-million dollar deals. While these sportsmen receive enormous salaries, we have millions of hardworking public service individuals who get the tiniest fractions of some of these contracts. In comparison, “each basket Kobe Bryant scores earns him the same as an average classroom teacher’s yearly salary” (Bhagat).
These athletes are being overpaid while people who are risking their lives every day for our country are drastically underpaid. It is not right and it needs to change.
We all know that professional athletes get paid a lot of money, but what most of us don’t know is just how much they make. The median wage for an MLB player is $3.2 million (“Major League Baseball Players”). In the NBA, the average salary is $4.9 million per year (Ozanian). NFL players make an average of $1.9 million per year (Fainaru-Wada and Fainaru). These numbers show that professional athletes do make a lot of money, but there are other people in our society who make significantly more.
For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, made $31 million in 2017 (Mufson). He made over fifteen times what the average MLB player makes and over six times what the average NFL player makes. Another example is Bill Gates, who has a net worth of $92.5 billion dollars (“Bill Gates Net Worth”).
He could easily afford to buy every single team in the NBA, NFL, and MLB and still have billions of dollars left over. So when people say that professional athletes are overpaid, they are wrong. The athletes are paid based on their value to their team and to the sport, just like any other worker in our society.
In conclusion, professional athletes are not overpaid. They are paid based on their value to their team and to the sport. There are other people in our society who make significantly more money than athletes, so it is not fair to say that they are overpaid.
Many will argue whether professional athletes are overpaid in today’s society. Athletes entertain us and are being paid very large amounts of money for it. However, I claim that all professional athletes are overpaid because their entertainment does not offer an essential function to improve or enhance our world compared to other professions such as medical doctors, lawyers, and teachers.
The first claim I will make is that professional athletes are not overpaid when compared to other professionals who offer society an essential function. To back up this claim, I will use a study done by Forbes in 2010. The study found that the median salary for a teacher was $55,000, while the median salary for a professional athlete was $2.7 million (Forbes, 2010).
When we compare these two salaries, we can see that the average professional athlete makes approximately 49 times more money than the average teacher. In addition, the average lawyer in the United States makes $130,880 per year, while the average professional athlete in the United States makes $5 million per year (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). This means that the average professional athlete makes approximately 38 times more money than the average lawyer.
The second claim I will make is that even though professional athletes are paid large salaries, they do not offer society an essential function that improves or enhances our world in comparison to other professionals such as medical doctors, lawyers, and teachers. To back up this claim, I will use a study done by The Huffington Post in 2013. The study found that out of 100 people surveyed, only 3 percent said that they believe professional athletes have a positive influence on society (The Huffington Post, 2013).
In contrast, 97 percent of people surveyed said that they believe medical doctors have a positive influence on society (The Huffington Post, 2013). This means that medical doctors are perceived to have a positive influence on society 32 times greater than professional athletes.