Enough Is Enough

Enough Is Enough

Jason Ryan, Staff Writer

Athletes provide entertainments to millions and millions of viewers each week, but does their talent mean they should be paid more than the citizens who risk their lives each day for our country and innocent people.

Everyone loves the feelings that sport brings out in them, but to say that should be paid so much more than teachers is almost insulting. The economy in the United States is struggling, and each day on Sports Center you see athletes in their respective sports complaining they don’t get paid enough.

There are countries all across the world filled with people starving and a fraction of some athletes’ salaries could pay for them to eat for a year. According to the Sports Illustrated list of the 50 top-earning American athletes the average earning of this year’s 50 is $24.3 million. These athletes are extremely talented and put in a lot of hard work but the fact they get paid substantial more than any other occupation is outrageous.

The most disturbing part of athletes contracts is when they holdout because they think they are worth more. It is understandable these players want to ensure they are financially safe for life after their sport, but if they don’t think they will be safe with millions and millions of dollars then they might want to reevaluate how they live.

Former number one overall pick Jamarcus Russell held out for most of training camp. He eventually signed a contract that guaranteed him $31 million. What is funny about his situation is he will probably go down as one of the biggest busts in professional sports history yet he still has $31 million to show for it.

In most jobs in America if you don’t fulfill your bosses or businesses expectations you get fired and there’s no such thing as guaranteed money. So it’s insulting to the rest of the work force when athletes hold out and say “they cannot feed their families” because they don’t get paid enough.

It’s true athletes provide the public with entertainment for 365 days a year but entertainment can only gets us so far as a society. Teaching is one of the most economically important occupations because our future economy relies on the education of its youth, yet teachers are paid astronomically less than the average professional athlete is.

In fact, each basket Kobe Bryant scores earns him equivalent to the average classroom teacher’s yearly salary.

Teachers shape the minds of the leaders of future generations and they usually have to work another job just to keep their head above water. We have men and women put their lives on the line each day across the world for our armed forces and do not get half the recognition athletes like Lebron James, Tiger Woods, and Peyton Manning get. Firefighter, policemen, and doctors fight each day to protect the innocent and save lives.

A police officer could save a life and the line of duty but it would be back page news to Lebron James windmill drunk. The fact we do not appreciate those who protect us everyday shows us there’s something with our society’s priorities.

It’s not a fair stretch to say that half these athletes don’t earn or even deserve all the money their organizations give them. You would assume that their God-given talents would be enough reason for them to give back or even stay out of trouble.

Each day on your local sports channel you can hear about how another athlete was arrested for a DUI, possession of an unregistered weapon, or a failed drug test. With the amount of money these athletes have they should assume their role model status instead most of them fall short.

They owe it to their fans and the young children who watch them play to show them they are respectable citizens, and maybe give some of those millions back to someone in need.

Top NFL quarterback Drew Brees stated what most of society feels about athlete’s wages, “Yes, we probably do get paid too much. Unless you’re finding a cure for cancer or creating world peace, I don’t know if anybody deserves to get that much money.”

He went on to say that though that’s the industry they’re in and the market determines what you get paid. He’s one of a few to say that athletes get paid too much. If you look at how athletes act now-a-days with their money there’s no way they should be millionaires.

hese millionaires are role models for children everywhere yet they don’t act like it. Riddle me this, the most powerful man in the United States Barack Obama makes about $400,000 a year, while there are third string quarterbacks making about the same.

There are occupations out in the job force that are definitely more deserving of millionaire status than today’s athlete.