Monday, June 17, 2013

Are Proffessional Athletes Overpaid?

1.0.0 Introduction One of the issues that have recently attracted increased attention in different parts of the world is the amount of remuneration that is given to professional athletes. Professional sports are described as sports in athletes engage in, not just for fun or leisure, but also as work that they get paid for (Resnick, 2009). Professional sports are usually contrasted with amateur sports in which athletes do not receive any form of remuneration for their sporting activities (Leeds, p. 540). According to Lefebure (p. 3) an example of the exorbitant salaries paid to athletes is demonstrated by the Major League Baseball in the United States of America. In the event that the remuneration of all 30 teams was to be amalgamated, every baseball player in the big league would be worth an estimated $2.02 billion. This depicts an estimated $67.6 million for every team and $2.7 million for every single player. One of the most paid baseball players, the highest paid baseball athlete in the world, is Alex Rodriguez who makes an estimated $22 million every year. Tiger Woods who had been the highest paid athlete since the year 2001 dropped to the third slots as indicated by the 2012 Forbes ranking. The number one and two spots went to Floyd Mayweather (A boxer earning an estimated $85 million) and Manny Pacquiao (also a boxer estimated to earn $62 million). Unlike other activities for which the media demand payment in order to broadcast, the media actually has to pay in order to engage in any form of publicity or broadcasting of sports for non-media institutes. This collaboration between the media and sports organizations ensures that a greater audience is attracted for sports events so as to ensure larger incomes for both parties (Miah, 1998). As a matter of the fact, the present day athletes are amongst the most highly paid individuals in the entire world with some being categorized as worth hundreds of millions of dollars (Buraimo et al, p. 30). These athletes engage in the sports not only because they enjoy it, but they make such a huge amount by simply engaging themselves in one or a few games. Lefebure (p. 2) claims that the interesting part in this debate is the fact that there are millions of persons out there with equal proficiency that would be willing to play the games for free is only given the opportunity. 2.0.0 Thesis There have been a lot of controversies regarding the issue of sport professionalism with the most serious one being the fact that professional athletes are overpaid. This paper argues that contrary to common belief athletes are not overpaid. In spite of the fact that there is a logical amount of money that people need to be able to feed cloth, house themselves, own a car and send their children to good schools, any individual presented with the chance to increase their income would do so. In addition to this, a majority of athletes exercise and practice for years on end before they make their big break and it is only fair that they be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It is important for the general public to recognize the professional athletes are not just sportspeople (Resnick, 2009). They are also role models and family people who also desire to make an honest living and offer their families the best possible lives. The most popular sports in America are baseball, football and basket ball (Leeds, p. 540). This paper will therefore incline toward examples in these three main sports. 3.0.0 Supporting Evidence The first point in opposition to the fact that athletes are overpaid is that there are very few athletes who make much money. As people continue arguing that professional athletes are being paid a lot of money, they forget the fact that it is only the top professional athletes that get to enjoy such hefty payments. Information from salary.com reveals that the average remuneration for a professional athlete is estimated at $18,100- $40,800 annually. This average is inclusive of all professional athletes regardless of whether they are top or bottom tier athletes. Many people are ignorant of the differences in earnings between professional athletes. Discrepancies in professional athletes’ earnings are as a consequence of the sports and different leagues in which the athletes play (Frick, p. 425). In basket ball, for instance, the MLB has a greater fiscal base than the NBA. As a matter of fact, a great number of professional athletes in the present day are no better than persons in other professions such as teaching, waiting or nursing. A professional athlete in the minor baseball league, for example earns an estimated $1,100 per month. The annual salary for such “professional athletes” is estimated to be about $13,000; this is way less that the amount made by a regular cook in a fast food restaurant. For many players in basketball, football or baseball leagues salaries are only give to compensate for the time spent playing; if the athletes do no play at all, then they have no salaries (Miah, 1998). Secondly, it is important to note that the salaries of professional athletes in different sports come from their fans. Although the revenue collected from television broadcasts play a part in financing professional sports, a greater part of the money in the sports industry emanates from the fans such as when they pay for gate receipts to go and watch the sports events (Simmons and Forest, p. 124). Moreover, in spite of the fact that it is a tedious and laborious process to connect the fan to the television revenue, any such attempt will reveal that it is actually an athlete’s fan that finances the sports industry. Fans are people in different other professions for instance farmers, doctors, teachers, bartenders, politicians and even chief executive officers in the world’s greatest commercial organizations. These sports fans in different sectors of the national and international economy are not only willing to finance the athletes but even demand for particular professional athletes. Such demand serves to increase the worth of the athletes who are then consequently paid higher salaries for their services. Mueller (p. 22) claims that it is therefore evident that the high salaries paid to athletes are not a consequence of the athletes’ selfishness or greed as many may believe but actually a result of sports fans that are willing to spend their “hard earned” money on sports tickets, sports jerseys and the purchase of overpriced food and drinks during sports events. If the general public are really offended by the amount paid to professional athletes all they have to do sabotage sports events and decline from purchasing officially licensed sports merchandise (Mueller, p. 23). Thirdly, Mueller (p. 28) claims that there are many risks and harms that professional athletes expose their bodies to every time that they engage in sports in the fields or courts. A great number of the “highly paid” professional athletes put their health, and times lives, on the line so as to entertain their fans. Muller (p. 30) claims that an average surgery for knee replacement costs an estimated $35,000- $40,000 when the person is uninsured. Many in sports such as boxing and wrestling have even ended their careers overnight and had to lead impaired lives as a consequence of engaging in such sport activities. It is not uncommon for baseball, football and basketball players to fracture or break ankles, legs and even tear muscles as they endeavor to give their fans value for their money. A great number of sportspeople in sports such as football never even get to fully enjoy their money due to the hits they take on their heads during sport sessions (Miah, 1998). The most saddening issue is the fact that such adverse repercussions from sporting activities emerge when the sports people have retired. A notable percentage of the income that most of the professional athletes earn ends up being spent in medical and health care facilities (Leeds, p. 520). A feasible example is Bill Walton, a retired basket ball player who has had to undergo a great number of surgeries since ending his career due to complications developed during his sporting endeavors. A fourth consideration that should be made before claiming that professional athletes are overpaid is the fact that the huge amounts of money that professional athletes allegedly make come with the price of sacrificing spending quality and/or quantity time with their families, friends and loved ones. In spite of whether they are offseason or in season, professional athletes are vested with the responsibility of engaging in demanding exercise and work out sessions so as to ensure that they remain in shape (Szymanski, p. 1138). This implies that such athletes have to selflessly dedicate hours, days, weeks and months into training sessions so that they can provide for their families and give their fans value for their money (Miah, 1998). This is regardless of the fact that the professional athletes have to miss out on events and experiences that people in other professions take for granted. Teachers for example enjoy long holidays and have the opportunity to attend important family events such as birthdays, graduations and thanksgiving. If a professional athlete gets out of shape, or is even suspected to have gotten out of shape, they stand a very great risk of losing their jobs and being replaces with others believed to be in better shape. This means that the professional athletes, unlike many other professions, are under constant pressure to perform and with very little job security (Frick, p. 429). Fifthly, it is important to appreciate the fact that professional athletes are not just paid huge sums of money for simply engaging in sports activities. A great majority of the world’s top professional athletes are also role models to millions of people through out the world (Mueller, p. 25). The inspiration that professional athletes give to people all over the world to rise against any hurdles in life and attain their dreams is not something a price tag can be attached on, or the professional athlete satisfactorily compensated for. Szymanski (p. 1138) claims that any person in the world who has been inspired or received the encouragement and motivation that thy needed to attain a college degree, pursue their artistic talents or even make a difficult but necessary decision in life know the important role that professional athletes play in the lives of millions of people all over the world either as role models of sources of inspiration (Kessene, 2007). Finally, the careers of professional athletes are fairly short particularly in contrast to those of individuals in areas such as the medicine, educational and hotel industry. People working in the entertainment industry lose their professions immediately old age sets in or when better, and usually younger talent emerges. Mueller (p. 23) points pout that while the average American worker will retire at the age of 65 or 75, very few professional athletes last into their 40s or 50s (Simmons and Forest, p. 145). 4.0.0 Counter Argument On the other hand, there are indeed people who are convinced that professional athletes are not only overpaid but that they squander the money and are very selfish when it comes to helping out their teams (Simmons, p. 457). It is not uncommon to hear of athletes refusing to engage in sports activities on behalf of their teams because they are owed. Lefebure (p. 4) claims that the main problem is the fact that professional athletes are perceived as role models when they in fact are not. A majority of professional athletes such as Tiger Woods have numerously been implicated in sex scandals while others are allegedly drug abusers. These are not models any parent would want their children to emulate. 5.0.0 Conclusion This paper has been successful in depicting the fact that the term ‘professional athlete’ has either been greatly misunderstood or misused. Before claiming that professional athletes are overpaid, it is important that the general public realizes that there are very few professional athletes that make as much money as Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant or Floyd Mayweather. A majority of professional athletes in different parts of the world work as hard, even harder, than people in professions such as teaching and nursing, and are still hardly able to feed their families. In spite of the fact it sometimes seems that some professional athletes are paid too much money, it is important to note that the athletes continuously put their health and lives at risks so as to entertain their fans. In addition to this, a great majority of the world’s top professional athletes are also role models to millions of people through out the world. The inspiration that professional athletes give to people all over the world to rise against any hurdles in life and attain their dreams is not something a price tag can be attached on. Moreover the careers of professional athletes are fairly short and athletes have to retire early particularly in contrast to those of individuals in areas such as the medicine, educational and hotel industry. Rather than jump into hasty conclusions that professional athletes are currently overpaid, it is important to note that not all professional athletes earn millions. 6.0.0 Work Cited Buraimo, B., R. Simmons, and S. Szymanski: English Football, Journal of Sports Economics 7, (2006), pp. 29–46 Frick, B: The Football Players’ Labor Market: Empirical Evidence from the Major European Leagues, Scottish Journal of Political Economy 54 (July), (2007), pp. 422–46 K├ęsenne, S: The Economic Theory Of Professional Team Sports: An Analytical Treatment. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, (2007) Leeds, M: American Football In Handbook on the economics of sport, ed. W. Andreff and S. Szymanski, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, (2006), pp. 514–22 Lefebure, Matt: Proffessional Athletes are Overpaid and Selfish, The Quannipiac Chronicle, (2004), pp. 1-5 Miah, Andy: Sport and the Extreme Spectacle: Technological Dependence and Human Limits, Unpublished Manuscript (1998) Mueller, Chris: Two Sides to Every Coin: Are Proffessional Athletes Overpaid? The Bleacher Report, (2012), paragraph 23-30 Resnick, Steven: Are Proffessional Athletes really overpaid? The Answer May Surprise You, Bleacher Report (2009) Simmons, Rob: Overpaid Athletes: Comparing American and European Football, The Journal of Labor and Society, Vol. 10, pp. 457-465 Simmons, Rob, and D. Forrest: Buying Success: Relationships between Team Performance And Wage Bills In The Us And European Sports Leagues In International Sports Economics Comparisons, ed. R. Fort and J.Fizel, Westport: Praeger, (2004), pp. 123–40 Szymanski, S: The Economic Design Of Sporting Contests, Journal of Economic Literature 41 (December), (2003), pp. 1137–87