Professional sports salaries gone too far
By Courtnie Martin, Sports Reporter
When I got wind of Phil Jackson’s transferring to the Knicks for $15 million a season, it became blatantly obvious to me that athletes and coaches are ridiculously overpaid. David Stern did a solid job increasing athletes’ salaries as the NBA’s name rapidly garnered respect all over the world, but what isn’t clear is why athletes are making more money than doctors, lawyers, and teachers.
When talking about the 20 highest paid athletes in the world you can’t help but shake your head. Example: five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. reportedly racks up an average of $50 million a fight. Last year he fought both Saul Alvarez and Robert Guerrero, each for $50-million a fight. He is the highest paid boxer in the world on Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes (both in 2013 and 2014), and ranked 14th of all highest-paid athletes on Forbes’ 2013 list.
In 2013, Tiger Woods was the highest-paid athlete in the world with an astonishing $78.1 million. Not only is the gallant golfer known for his performance on the field but also for his promiscuous life off it. Many of his endorsements slid out of reach when it was announced he cheated on his wife with numerous women due to a “sex addiction.” After Woods lost his family and millions of dollars through divorce, he got his life in order and got back to the grind, winning six tournaments in 12 months and earning $65 million in endorsements.
Mayweather was no match for Woods in 2013, but he wasn’t to be outdone again. The next year, Mayweather upped the ante and blew Woods out of the water in Forbes’ 2014 list, with $85 million and absolutely no endorsements.
The sad part about these outlandish salaries is what they waste it on. Mayweather was rumoured to have bet $10 million on the Broncos in the Super Bowl and has taken much pride in what some have called a gambling addiction. If the average person had $85 million to blow, would gambling be a first pick?
Even more ridiculous than these salaries is what some of these athletes do to get it. Kobe Bryant earned almost $30.5 million having only taken part in six games for the 2013-14 season; his lost season is the most expensive in the NBA franchise’s history. Meanwhile, boxer Manny Pacquiáo has his hands on $62 million, while LeBron James only grosses $53 million. James, however, gets the majority of his earnings from endorsement deals: Nike, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, State Farm, and Dunkin’ Donuts. If anyone deserves more money, it would be the three-time MVP.
Someone needs to question these outrageous salaries. In October 2013, the BBC reported that the United States has a debt of over $15 trillion, while Canada’s debt is currently reported at a solid $1.2 trillion. These athletes’ salaries combined are clearing the billion-dollar mark. Where does the cost of entertainment end?