Are Athletes Worth Their Salaries

I guess this is a debate that Kerri and her husband had, and she asked my to debate the subject as well. The question is simple, are athletes worth the money that they are paid? Well, is a Mercedes Benz S600 worth $110,000? No. But are there people willing to pay $110,000 for a Benz S600? Yes.

I've always wondered why people get mad at the athletes for the money that they make but are not mad at the owners that charge outrageous ticket prices to see the athletes. Professional sport is an industry where very few people have the skills to enter. Although, I wonder why men that average 23 points a game can't hit at least 70% of their free throws but that is beside the point.

So, why is Kevin Garnett worth $15 million per year and a schoolteacher, someone that is charged with educating the future leaders of the free world is not?

The Timberwolves play 82 games per season. During that season they will play 42 of their games at home. The Timberwolves promote KG because fans adore him. They flock to the stadium to see him play. They flock to the malls to purchase his jersey. Shoe companies seek him out to endorse their sneakers and kid pay attention to the commercials where KG is a focal point. KG generates millions for corporations. So, why shouldn't KG get a piece of the action? After all, KG is an entity unto himself. He has unique skills for his trade. No one seems to complain about CEO's that are paid millions per year while their companies suck wind and receive golden parachutes while the employee is forced to sit back a lose their pensions and see their stock options dwindle to the point that they are worthless. At least KG is entertaining.

For all those that complain about the salaries of professional athletes, ask yourself this. If you were in an industry where YOU generate millions for you boss, would you expect to get paid $50,000 a year? Athletes negotiate contracts so I see nothing wrong with it.


12 Responses to Are Athletes Worth Their Salaries

  1. MEP Says:
    Well, ok. I buy that if corporations reap huge amounts of money from their players, then their players should get a nice chunk of that. So, perhaps the real problem is that corporations make so much money off of sports. OR, the real problem could be that we as a country are throwing that much money into sports instead of schools, government, charities, etc.
  2. James Manning Says:
    I think maybe we spend to much money sports but that could be said about almost any entertainment. How much money do we spend of golf?
  3. kerri Says:
    now, don't get me wrong. if someone was waving millions in my face i'd take it too (athletes, singers, actors, etc.). my whole point is that is has gotten out of control. you're right, i think that teachers who educate our young to try and make the world a better place and doctors who are trying to save lives should make leaps and bounds over someone who just plays a game. i enjoy my sports as much as the next person, but when these guys hold out because they aren't making enough it infuriates me. it seems to me that sometimes the world's priorities are misplaced.
  4. James Manning Says:
    I disagree, Kerri. You get angry at the players for holding out for more money, but they are in an industry that rake in millions on their skills. They have every right to seek proper compensation. the NBA has a salary cap of $46 million. A player cannot not make more that $14 million. The NFL has a different system in which the contracts are not truly guaranteed. Players make their money with the signing bonuses and hope not to get cut by the team so they can collect the rest of their salary. So, when these players holdout, they are seeking more security and usually, more money upfront. I certainly think they have that right since the money is available.

    Professional athletes live in a different economic environment than the rest of us.
  5. stuffle Says:
    Short Answer: They deserve every penny they get.

    Long Answer: People pay to see them. If people didn't pay to see them, they wouldn't get the big bucks. We value our entertainment in this country, and are willing to pay big bucks to see the big names. The bigger the draw, the more money they can demand. That is just the way it is.

    It is why bands like U2 can charge a crap load of money per ticket, and some other bands can't. It is why it costs more for good seats to an NBA game that it costs for the same seats in the same arena for a MISL game (indoor soccer).

    If someone doesn't like that, they shouldn't contribute to the "problem" by a.) going to the game, b.) watching big name sports on TV, c.) buying team merchendise, d.) buying stuff endorsed by atheletes, etc.

    If someone has the talent in a field where they can demand a high salary, I don't have any problem with them taking full advantage of that.
  6. kerri Says:
    that is one thing i don't agree about the NFL. you get injured you don't get paid. not really fair.

    but i still think it's too much money. but that maybe because i'm not making it! lol :op
  7. stuffle Says:
    that is one thing i don't agree about the NFL. you get injured you don't get paid. not really fair.

    Injured football players ain't worth jack (at least to the team), so it seems fair to me that they wouldn't get paid during the time that they ain't worth much to anyone.

    Besides, they still get their endorsements checks and whatnot, so I'm not going to weep for them.

    Of the major sports, the NFL seems to do the best job of handling its talent. The worst has to be MLB...
  8. Dell Gines Says:
    You socialist MEP :)

    Seriously though nailed it...

    People are worth what you will pay them...

    If you came to me today and said, pay me 200,000 to fix your roof I would say no. I don't have any desire for my roof to be fixed, and I could get a comparable roof to fix it for 1000.

    That is the market. Owners wouldn't pay players that much unless that was the market.
  9. bold as love Says:
    you can only charge what the market can bare. It's a quick economics lesson really- get rid of all the ideological mumbo jumbo and you have a few men that can do what the vast majority of us can't- Hell, I paid damned good money to see Michel Jordan play, abd was only dissapointed I couldn't see him more, but the NBA is getting to the tipping point of this dynamic- their millionaire thug ass players are slowing but surely killing their market-

  10. Naro% Says:
    James you are right on point with this one man!
  11. Rell Says:
    I mean don't they generate billions of dollars?

    If so -- then they are worth millions of dollars.

    To me it's pretty simple...
  12. Outside the Box Says:
    Of course they deserve the money.
    It really seems like a non-issue.

    What's always been interesting to me is to imagine a league where the players earn their money through wins. The more games you win, the more you earn. Win the division, bonus. Win the title, huge bonus. Incentives can be put into the contracts for making 1st, 2nd, or 3rd All NBA, for being MVP or Defensive Player of the Year, things like that.

    I know it smacks of socialism, but the league would be far, far better for it. I do lean towards socialism on many things because I believe the whole should come before the parts.

    (Are you going to do the 10 Best NBA players this Friday? Not to push you for it, I just want to do mine the same day.)