Are Sports Players Overpaid?

Do you think sports players are paid too much? Why are they paid as much as they are? Is it just because they are good at what they do? If so, why does a professional lacrosse player with tremendous talent have to work a job as well as play lacrosse, whereas a baseball or football player makes enough money to retire after a few years of playing if they want to?

And why are they paid so much more than people who have other jobs who work just as hard. It can’t be because of physical danger. Otherwise we would pay police and firemen and miners a lot more money. Many people don’t understand it and are angered by it, like this article in TeenInk.

It is because of the leverage they bring. People like watching the games. Lots of people! Companies need to sell their products and they are always looking at different ways to market and advertise their products. So the large audience that the athlete’s generate is very attractive to the advertisers.

It is like a cycle that reinforces and gets stronger as it goes along. The companies advertise on television and radio because they know they have a large audience and they can determine some general interests of the audience so they know which products to target. The radio and television companies then pay the teams for the right to broadcast the games. The larger the audience, the more they will pay.

So that is why football and baseball teams can afford to pay so much more than a lacrosse team for instance.

But once this is set up, you have a lot of people with a vested interest in having it continue and helping it to grow. If the audience grows, advertiser will pay more, the teams will receive more money and the athletes will be paid more. The local newspapers, even though they aren’t directly involved in the way radio and TV are paying fees to air the game, they write about the games and the athletes because it helps sell newspapers. The writers and the TV and radio announcers have an interest in promoting the sport and games as well because it gives them a job and the more popular the sport, the more they are likely to get paid. Just not as much as the athlete’s.

Before they formed unions, the athlete’s were actually underpaid. If their abilities get enough people watching that the advertisers, the TV and radio stations and the teams are making millions or billions of dollars, the athlete’s should be getting a cut of that.

It is similar to television stars. The more people who watch a show, the more the actors will be paid.


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