Athletes get rich while teachers struggle

Watching sports is exciting, thinking about how much athletes get paid is not.

By Savannah Simmons, Opinion Editor

While athletes put in blood, sweat and tears for their enormous paychecks, teachers who do the same for the benefit of their students’ intellectual gain are paid an embarrassingly small amount in comparison.

There is no question that athletes bring in a ton of money for sports networks, clothing companies and nutrition brands, but is what they do benefitting the population? Yes, watching them allows viewers to escape from their lives, but it is not adding to the viewer’s intelligence.

With the time and hard work athletes put in, they do not deserve chump change. They do, however, make an insane amount more, comparatively, than people who put in work to make a change out in the world.

However, teachers, who are severely underpaid, spend countless hours educating younger generations who could eventually become doctors, senators or even teachers themselves. Teachers should not have to juggle other jobs, becoming bartenders or Uber drivers to make ends meet. Their focus should be on providing a fun learning experience for their students.

“No teacher should be forced to take on a second job in order to pay the bills,” tweeted Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) during the Los Angeles Unified School District strike earlier this year. “We have to be better than this. Thank you to our Los Angeles teachers for staying strong — I stand with you. #LAUSDStrike

When teachers go on strike, it is not only for their sake but their students’ sakes aswell. Earlier this year, thousands of teachers in Los Angeles went on strike for not only for higher wages but also for smaller classroom sizes. Athletes go on strike too, but it is solely for their gain personally at the expense of their consumers who may not be able to watch them while they are striking.

The average public school teacher in Los Angeles makes between $56,000 to $74,000 a year according to, while according to the collective bargaining agreement that goes into effect next year, an active NFL rookie makes a minimum of $400,000 a year in a one-year contract. Not to mention the top-pick athletes who get paid millions a year.

Athletes get paid to not only play their game but also for appearances at events and major brand deals. Teachers work tirelessly to create lesson plans for their students, attend PTA meetings and parent-teacher conferences. Not to mention that now more than ever, teachers are being trained to learn how to protect their students in the event of a major emergency.

The child’s life that a teacher comes into is changed with the knowledge that is given to them through their lessons in the classroom. They work with these kids to help them understand what they are learning and give them the ability to use it for the rest of their lives. Teacher’s pay grade should reflect this as athletes’ pay is more than done so.