By John Plue
Professional athletes are paid millions to play a game every week during their respective seasons. According to Statista, the average player gets paid, among all the major sports in the United States, between $2.78 and $7.77 million a year. Players who do not play every week still get a six-figure paycheck. That is, in all honesty, absurd. These people are going out and playing a game that elementary kids can play. Children can play the same game and sometimes it is more entertaining because they are not good at all.
I understand the appeal for sports. I know why a lot of people get hyped for Superbowl Sunday or why March Madness matters. It is something they like and have waited all year to get to. The games before that are all just build up to that moment. Even if your team does not get in, it is still exciting to watch. It is like waiting all year for your favorite television show to start and then watching every week until the season finale, wrapping everything up. Not only is the excitement electrifying, but the feeling of being able to represent your home state or your college is great.
What does not make much sense is their pay. Why does it have to be so high? There are other professions out there that are far more important than a professional athlete, and yet they get paid so little. Most must go to years of school for their professions and are saddled with student loans because of it. There are a lot of professional athletes that get full rides through college because of their skill. Not to say that professional athletes are not important, they provide entertainment for the masses and do it at risk of injury.
According to the National Education Association, the starting salary for teachers across the United States is $39,249 a year. Teachers can be argued as more important than professional athletes. They teach America’s youth; they shape them to become our future. The nurse salary guide stated that the United States average for registered nurses is $73,550 a year. Registered nurses take care of the sick. They take care of all sorts of people and are expected to do it with a smile.
Professional athletes should not be paid as much as they do. There is no reason to make them gods when they are only human. The sports industry plays off the fact that they are made out to be and make millions off them. They sell jerseys, they sell house decorations, they could sell anything under the sun to the right fan if it had the right team or the right player on it.
If the salary of professional athletes went down, then maybe tickets prices would go down and people would be able to see more games. It has become a rich man’s world in sports.