Professional Athletes “Make Too Much Money”?

Professional Athletes “Make Too Much Money”?
M.D. Wright

Professional Athletes “Make Too Much Money”?

Do they?

Or is it a bunch of jealous people who wish they were in these guys’ position if they had the chance? Let’s dissect.

I listen to people. I actually prefer listening to talking, even though people close to me know I can ramble have rants FOR THE AGES. But in listening to people, I hear a lot of inherent biases and jealousies at play in the comments I hear. Besides, what is the basis for them saying that? And if they really believe what they claim, where is the outrage regarding the owners of the teams who earn 100 times more than the highest paid player in any league?

The fact is, the argument, whether steeped in jealousy, anger at ticket prices or what have you — is baseless. The NFL, NBA, MLB all have lucrative contracts in the multi-billions — that’s BILLIONS with a “B” with TV networks, sponsors to distribute their products; whether the products are the games themselves, jerseys, advertising rights, branding on accessories and fan gear, these leagues make money hand over fist. To take that further, each league has what is called a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the respective Owners and Players’ Unions/Associations. Included in those agreements (hereafter and forevermore known as “CBA”) are Revenue Sharing clauses.

Typically, the players have a larger share than the owners, given they are the actual engines for the leagues. This is understood by all and fair. In the NBA and NFL, players get between 59-60% of the total revenue, the owners receive the other 40, 41%. The thing to consider in that though, is the NFL has 32 owners splitting 41% of over $7 billion. That means hundreds of millions that teams generate. You have a few pro sports franchises worth nearly $1 billion alone. In short, owners make RIDICULOUS, OBSCENE amounts of money.

You have the MLB, with over 1,700 players, sharing in the revenues they generate on the field. You have the NBA with about 500 players sharing their revenue and the NFL with over 1,600 players that share in the revenue. How is it that players “make too much”? They generate BILLIONS for the leagues they represent. They deserve a fair share of the amount they generate (the fact that the NBA and NFL are potentially locking out and the players potentially going on strike is laughable, the owners should take their 40% and shut up. SERIOUSLY). Whining about players making $165M in baseball, or $120M in basketball or a non-guaranteed $100M contract in football is embarrassing to me as a fellow human being. To be fair, the people who say this most are usually unaware of the financial dynamics of professional sports, so I don’t really get upset as much as I am aghast — much like Richard Lewis in this clip at the 1:01 mark:

Calm down folks. If you’re not going to complain about owners’ earnings, then shut up about the players.

And if you couldn’t cut it past high school, well, boo-hoo for you, but don’t be jealous of these guys who take full advantage of their short-lived earning power in their youth. Anyone with any sanity would do the same if they had the opportunity.


2 thoughts on “Professional Athletes “Make Too Much Money”?

  1. MookieDC August 21, 2010 / 3:20 AM

    Just saw this; couldn’t agree more. I personally feel that these leagues bring in far too much money in general, but that’s an issue much bigger than sports. I mean, why get pissed at these players when cosmetic surgeons are making upwards of what, $7-8 million. For cosmetic surgery? Word? At least the spectacle of sport provides comfort to millions of people around the country, and the world.


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