By Joceline Rodriguez, Staff Writer
A season could be half of a year, a career could be half a life, and the obstacles and microscope an athlete lives under while working is justified with their pay and commision.
Athletes get paid for what they deserve because they spent most of their career practicing their talents and entertaining the public.
I have nephews who aspire to be pro-athletes. Noah, 8, and Nicolas, 3, are baseball players and practice nearly every weekend. Aadan, 9, plays football and aspires to be in the NFL when he grows up. If any of them become professional athletes the weekday practices, weekend games and countless hours of training was well worth it. Those boys deserve every penny they earn and I am sure the families of pro-athletes feel the same.
We, as a society, teach children to find what they love and be successful at it. But once they make it, we take it away from them. It is unfair because by the time they are 18, they have already dedicated a huge portion of their life unpaid, working to get where they are.
“These individuals have been scouted since high school — or even earlier — and are considered to be the best at what they do,” explained Ashley Figueroa, writer of The Current, Nova Southeastern University. “They tirelessly train and practice year after year to improve performance.”
The job also comes with a laundry list of business agreements. These include: pre-season training, all-star games, playoffs, promotional commercials, interviews, and so on.
An athlete’s career is not guaranteed, their prime is limited, and injuries take a toll on their bodies more than the average person. Once an athlete hits their late 30s or early 40s, they are considered old in the game.
“The average American will retire between the ages of 65-75, but a professional athlete will last a lot less in their career than someone who sits on a desk all day,” explained Chris Mueller, Sports Editor from The Bleacher Report.
The average career length in the NFL is about 3.3 years and about six years for players who make a club’s opening day roster in their rookie season, according to the NFL Players Association.
Not only are their careers short, but the consequences of being an athlete means a higher risk of injuries.
Forbes listed Floyd Mayweather earning $285 million, Lionel Messi $81 million, Conor McGregor $85 million, Neymar $71 million, Cristiano Ronaldo $61 million and LeBron James $33 million as 2018 top paid athletes in the world. The world’s most watched sports obviously bring in the most money for the superstars.
As of 2019 Instagram models and Youtubers no longer pay for anything of their own yet they make so much money. They are provided with complimentary makeup, clothes, jet rides and even get paid to party and sell a lifestyle.
Actors and actresses film one movie and make millions. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson scored $124 million in 2018, Robert Downey Jr. made $81 million, Scarlett Johansson earned $40m, and Angelina Jolie made $28 million. What is the issue with athletes landing million dollar contracts that they worked and dedicated their whole lives to?
“Sports teams make their money through ticket sales, viewership, and merchandise sales and then pass their earnings to their players,” implied Figueroa. “Therefore, if people agree that athletes are overpaid, then they should stop creating such a high demand for sports.”