Reasons Why Sports Athletes Are Underpaid

Sport can be a uniting factor on a national level. We’ve all seen how international tournaments have brought together countries for that few minutes and how players are celebrated in their home countries as well as the places they represent. Delving deeper into the sports athlete’s personal life, we see that their salary reaches record-breaking figures.

A lot of people look at a sports athlete’s life with envy, while some complain that they earn too much for what they do. It’s a valid point though, since their salaries are already enough to feed a lot of families out there and some argue that what they do isn’t even a job. However, these reasons might change the way on how you think about the way sports athletes are paid and if they are well worth the money spent on them.

Cream of The Crop

If you think about how much an average manager makes in a year, it won’t be much. On the other hand, if you set your eyes on how much the CEO’s of the best companies make in a year, you’d be shocked. The difference is huge, and it’s rightly justified. Because the CEO is good at what he does, in fact he may be one of the best in managing people. This also applies to the best professionals out there. Whether they’re doctors, engineers, actors, architects, authors, and almost every other profession there is. The professionals who are at the top of their field earn money in jaw-dropping figures.

The same also applies to sports athletes. Although they may play sports, it’s still a profession though it may be glamorous and overrated. They are a few of the best in their chosen sport, which is why teams fight over them and try to woo them with money. In a similar fashion, if the top engineer would also publish how much they make in a year, you’ll start questioning your career and might take up engineering instead.

An Early Start

For a serious career, maybe you’d start thinking about it when you are already 21 or 22 years old and ready to leave all that messing around behind. Other might even choose to postpone their “maturity” for a few years after that. On the other hand, if you wanted to be a professional sport athlete, you should have started training when you were still 10 or 11 years old. Some athletes have even trained at an earlier age than that. Yet this doesn’t always mean that they’ll be accepted in a big league and that they’ll be professionals in the future.

Additionally, after you have studied your major degree in college, you’ll be able to make a living until your retirement age. That’s about 4 or 5 decade’s worth of work and earning. For sports athletes, they start young, and most often they have to quit the sport just after a decade, and that’s already pushing it. They have to give way to younger players who have better stamina, have more raw potential, and are still worthy investments for the team.

This early start means that professional athletes have already skipped being children or teenagers and instead focused on training. What they get in return is a limited time for their career and after that, their future still looks bleak. When athletes reach the 35 year mark, they’re let out into the world without skills that a company could use. Of course, they could coach or use their sports knowledge, but that is a very slim market out there.

Risk of Early Retirement

For athletes that push their bodies to the limit day in and day out even when there’s no game, the risk for injuries are very high. Even sports that are not physically dangerous still carry with it certain career-ending injury risks. This isn’t the same daily risks an architect or laboratory researcher face. For star players, they are able to sign contracts that offer huge amounts of money to guarantee them even if they are forced to retire early. For the other newcomers and aspiring players out there, this option isn’t available and once an injury forces them to retire early, they don’t have a lot of career options.

It’s All for Show

If you step back and think about it, sports don’t have serious consequences. If a team loses, it doesn’t mean that their country’s economy will plummet or they lose certain rights to the winning team. It’s just the same as watching a movie or a drama on TV. However, you should keep in mind that star athletes can’t take the role of actors or musicians out there, and vice versa.

With that in mind, it’s common knowledge that actors and some musicians triple or double the amount an athlete makes in a year. However, a lot of people always scrutinize an athlete’s salary instead of actors or musicians. This might be because a lot of people downplay a sports athlete’s daily tasks instead of actors. A lot of people think that they can’t act or replace the actor in the big screen, but they can easily replace the person playing around with balls on the field. If you seriously consider it, you can’t match an athlete on different levels.

It’s Your Money

One of the common rants people give about a sports athlete’s salary is that it can be spent on much better things like infrastructure, a public servant’s salary, or for national funds. That does make a reasonable argument, except for one thing: the athlete’s salary doesn’t come from the government. If you really want to raise the salary for firefighters or police officers for example, you should be ready to pay higher taxes.

Even if an athlete’s salary is reduced or if he is fired from the team, the money spent for him will not go to infrastructure repair or construction. In fact, because that team will pay lesser taxes, the government will have lesser funds to use. This is because in the end, the people who receive and spend money are the billionaire owners of these sports teams.

Another line of reasoning that people seem to forget easily is that the money used to fund these sporting events come from the fans. All those team merchandise you bought, the game tickets, and even the television subscriptions are charges set by the sports coordinators. It’s not a government event, so the proceeds go to them (although after a tax cut). Once that’s finished, it’s their money to spend. You can’t dictate them, and they won’t listen to you for sure.

It takes a lot of salt to swallow this reality, but these are sound reasons why sports athletes are underpaid. They have sacrificed a lot simply for our entertainment and their future doesn’t look bright when you think about it. In fact, few athletes have functioned as upstanding citizens after they have retired. A lot end up broke, or having trouble with the law. That’s a very steep price, considering the salary they’re getting.