Professional athletes are overpaid and selfish

By on April 1, 2004

How much money does the average person really need to be able to eat three times a day, have a roof over their head, send their children to school and have a car? All this could be done on an income between $30,000 and $40,000 easily. But somehow it was decided that people who labor harder than most, city workers, janitors and factory workers, would be paid less than someone who sits behind a desk all day or someone who plays a game for a living.

Today athletes are the highest paid people in the country, with the exception of Donald Trump and his toupee. It is ridiculous to believe that someone is really worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and all they have to do is play a sport; a sport that millions of people would play for free if given the chance.

Major League Baseball may be responsible for the rising salaries of athletes. If all 30 teams’ salaries were combined, the total price tag of every big league player would be in excess of $2.02 billion. That translates to $67.6 million per team, and $2.7 million per player. There are currently 41 players in the majors who make more than $10 million per year. One of these 41 players, Alex Rodriguez is the highest paid athlete in the world; he makes $22 million a year. You think he can afford to get extra cheese on his Big Mac? Rodriguez and Boston Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez are the highest paid players in the MLB. Ramirez is a distance second with a modest $17.2 million a year. Could A-Rod really spend $22 million, honestly? I doubt it. Now how about getting paid $22 million every year for seven years, no one could ever spend that money EVER.

Where does all this money come from to pay these awesome athletes this kind of money? It comes from the fans. The same fans that cry when their team loses, celebrates when they win and pay $6 for a beer and $7 for a deluxe hot dog at their team’s game. Ticket prices continue to go up every year. How fair is it for the fans to drop at least $100 to go see a game and watch Ramirez jog to first base on a groundball or a pitcher not start a game because he is “under the weather?” If an average hard working person missed a couple days a month because they were sick or hurt, they would be fired. In the case of athletes, they go on a two week paid vacation, otherwise known as the 15-day disabled list.

Did anyone even notice that athletes, especially baseball players say “it’s not about the money?” If it is not about the money, then why do players like the NFL’s Clinton Portis and Ty Law threaten to skip training camp or demand to be traded because they do not like their contract? Law was recently quoted saying he wanted more than the $7 million he was guaranteed for the 2004-05 season because he “has to eat.” That much money could buy Law a small island in the Pacific Ocean.

Athletes have become so selfish these days they look past the best interest of the people around them. Some players refuse to take a pay cut to help out the team while others (ex-Celtic and current Knick Vin Baker) file a grievance with the NBA Players Union to get the $36 million his contract says he is owed. The same contract that says if he falls off the wagon again he does not get any of that money, but hey, why read the fine print?

The real problem is that athletes are seen as role models. They are not role models. They are people Nike and Gatorade slap on a poster and make kids want to be like. Even the most squeaky clean athlete has skeletons in his closet, Kobe Bryant (accused rapist), Jason Kidd (convicted spousal abuser), Baker (admitted alcoholic), Mo Vaughn (DUI arrest), Barry Bonds (alleged steroid abuser), and Jason Giambi (see Bonds’ accusation). By the way, all of these men have been the face on some advertising campaign at one time in their career and some kid somewhere has a poster of them in their room. Oh, and they all make $10 million plus dollars a year, what good role models.


About Matt Lefebvre


  1. patrick ray

    March 23, 2010 at 11:38 am

    If people think they get paid too much stop paying so much for a ticket. Because if owners continue to see sold out arenas at high prices why would they lower their prices. And if the stadiums continue to be sold out who should get the money, the people that they’re paying to see.
    I understand your frustration, but it comes off as mere envy.
    p.s. most of the world lives off two dollars a day, if you have change in your car, pocket, or laying on your dresser you’re in the top 90% of wealthy people in the world, so maybe you and me are just as selfish as the pro athletes

  2. Isaac

    April 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

    patrick ray i feel you

  3. Aaron Parson

    April 19, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Whether it is a rookie who is the next Michael Jordan or a veteran who has led his or her team to the Champinship many times, money should never come between the player and the team. Oh and if you guys could be a little more unracist that would be nice too:)

    • sam

      May 5, 2010 at 9:34 am

      How are they being racist? Do share…

  4. Common Sense

    April 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Yes athletes are overpaid. But it isn’t like they are having fun every second they are out on the field. Their lives revolve around the game. When they aren’t in an actual match or game they are out conditioning, practicing, or healing from a sports related injury. When the season does start, they are constantly traveling and not seeing their families all the time. Like Patrick said if you disapprove of their salaries then don’t pay $100 a ticket to see them. The only reason their salaries are that high is because people are willing to pay. If they weren’t their salaries would be much less.

    • Smitty SAYS NO

      November 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm

      Yes they may not be having fun but are they saving lives? Are they helping the community? NO THEY ARE SIMPLY PLAYING A GAME! Yes you may be right about the salaries but this is outrageous! 22$ Million dollars in a year athletes can get. And you think it’s fair? Doctors make less then that and yet they are saving people day-to-day.

  5. mooka

    April 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

    i agree with the athletes are being overopaid and all but not alll pros are selfish. i think tht you had nice facts but are being a little rude.

  6. Isaac

    April 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

    mooka i feel you too

  7. toop

    May 12, 2010 at 9:57 am

    o doyle rules!!!

  8. Rhythm Verma

    September 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Stop being racist

  9. Harsh is GAY

    September 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    lol! I am GAY

  10. Audie

    September 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I am also gay. gay people are the best. :DDD

  11. BLEEK

    September 27, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I think this website makes a lot of sense. People are getting paid for a few hours of entertainment

  12. Rhythm

    October 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    LOL! I have no Dick or balls.

  13. Harsh Yadav

    October 14, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Lol!! I am saying it again, I am Gay and I got no balls

    • clark howies

      June 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm

      go away stop commenting i dont care if ur gay..

  14. Angelos

    December 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    After having perused the list of commentary, I would agree with not spending the money for tickets and to end jealousy or frustration due to salaries. Maybe, it would be best for all of us to simply sit back, relax and appreciate that which we have and to not concern ourselves with the materialistic things of the world. Just happy to be healthy, some days.

  15. Mike

    December 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Ridiculous. Athletes, particularly professional athletes, are sarce, and the demand for them is high, therefore their salaries reflect that. You may not particularly like it, but it reflects the money they generate being on the field. Furthermore, unlike a teacher, it takes a very truly unique person to play professional sports. Think about it; even the bench warmer was the prize of his college team. These people are tremedously gifted and tremendously rare.

    People seem to have this hang up that a job should be compensated based on it’s intrinsic value. Janitors hold a monopoly of intrinsic value. If everyone who made a living from cleaning disappeared our quality of life would instantly take a hit. Diseases would spread, places would become unliveable, trash would pile up…yet the skill required to clean is not sarce, nor are janitors a rarity. People often diminish athletes by pointing out ineptitudes in other areas. But no one is asking Kevin Garnett or Derek Jeter to do my job, they’re not qualified for it. But if you ever think what they do didn’t take or doesn’t take a monumental amount of work and luck, you’re so wrong you don’t even get it.

  16. Marcin Mazurek

    December 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    It all depends on the job being done Mike, in certain school districts finding a good teacher does pose the problem equal to or above the level of that of a good professional athlete.

    Not to mention the mixed messages that are sent by certain school districts that have come to be known for “special treatment” given student athletes, or simply schools dominated by athletic culture which may be long gone; coming from a school that worshiped football I can attest to the unbalanced attention given to the other, (and better) sports teams and what some of those “other” athletes had to say about it
    Not to mention the moral issues more regularly being raised by the practices of professional athletes…a few questions have to be asked about who actually puts the said value on the athletes: arguing the level of aptitude required for professional sport and for janitorial is ridiculous, taking your own example, if a janitor does not clean then they can be replaced by someone else, right?
    Well what if a player doesn’t do well? They still have a contract and are paid as long as the contract is in effect; no matter how they do, though they can’t expect to continue playing for long if they are no good. Lets look at the issue from another angle; if a janitor does a good job they provide a healthier environment and help upkeep the hygiene of say, a school or hospital. What does an athlete doing well provide for us on a high school level? A college level? A national level? Entertainment? Popularity?

    What about teachers? Good teachers provide knowledge with which other knowledge can be gleaned, goals can be realized, made and eventually reached….don’t attempt to claim that teacher’s get paid for their “worth”, for some of the lengths they go to provide for their students you’d be surprised how human they, and all of us are in the end.

    – Opened in the morning, cleaned in the morning, washed dishes during lunch, helped stock, track, find, buy and order supplies at a restaurant, and it sure as hell wasn’t easy.

  17. guest

    January 8, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    It’s funny how all the names are of black or Hispanic athletes like hockey players aren’t overpaid as well. But no one seems to complain..hmmm

  18. niky

    January 11, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Pro athletes are over paid!!!!!this is so true.

  19. robin

    January 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    how is it that athletes are able to mess up their lives with cheating, drugs, and steroids and they get paid so much. in my opinion i would rather pay a doctor or someone who is going to make a difference that much money

  20. peaches

    March 16, 2011 at 9:06 am

    the ignorance here is outstanding. half the people who say they shouldn’t get payed so much are just jealous. and really, if you did your research proffessional atheletes don’t get payed as much asy ou would think. noobs.

  21. Marcin Mazurek

    March 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    “Peaches”, it isn’t ignorance to look at someone warming a nice bench and making $50,000 in that inning, and be outraged at that, its a fair reaction, whether or not they get “paid so much” is something to research, but for that matter do YOU have any of the figures, in general?

    Well? I’m waiting, until then, I’ll be seething gently at how much that dude with that stick is getting paid for avoiding child payments.

  22. a ron

    March 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    you ppl suck

  23. arod

    May 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Sounds like the author is jealous of these athletes and pissed because his life isnt what he wanted it to be growing up

  24. Justin

    May 4, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Come on. How could you not think that they get payed way to much, at least $400,00 min is rediculous. They dont even have to play and they still will be getting paid no matter what. Go on a vacation; paid, get hurt or sick; paid. Its crazy and they still will be making way more than the average person who actually when to college and got a bachelors degree. Its just not rite, they get paid just to be on tv and oh ya play a sport everyone in the world already plays. And so ya theyre better at the sport but any can be a professional player with a lot of practice so i dont see why they should be treated so special.

  25. Clara

    May 8, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Arod, is it normal for you to earn like 1 million in a year? Well, if it is, I can tell you that the majority of us are paid WAY LOWER than 1 million. Some don’t hit a million till they are in their grey years.

    I have never seen sports players as role models as they are only in it for the money. Little else would be such an incentive to be in it in the first place. If they make it their job, it is only natural for them to be good at the game. Shame on them if they suck and call themselves professional sport players.

    I feel for the author as he is a man after my own heart.

    Well, if you see it as jealousy, then fine it is. As WE GENUINELY DON’T SEE ANY OUTSTANDING REASON WHY THEY NEED TO BE PAID SO MUCH. Money is not to be earned so easily. It is almost an insult to us for all the hours we clock in for education and for work.

    Nothing more. If not, all of us can be professional athletes already. Trust me.

  26. Clara

    May 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

    To add to my previous comment, these OVERPAID asses
    rarely ever donate significant amounts. Since they are enjoying so much money that they by right, should be having, why not share it with the less fortunate.

    Fine, not on me but on creating jobs and charity.

  27. Anna

    May 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Are you serious? Do you think that they are just normal people who does a sport? NO! They are special professional athletes, who have trained probably their whole lives to have an career in some years before they retires at an age from 28-19! Yeah, they make more money than you, who cares, they earned it! Less then one percent of all athletes who participate in competitive sports ever reaches an elite level. So, if you one day are that 1 percent of the 7 billion people living on earth, I’ll say you earned, and I think you would think so as well.

  28. lewis

    June 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    hello guys u are gay there not overpaid, they work very hard !

  29. the wise one

    August 31, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    But if you’re a fan it should be worth every penny that is spent, just like they deserve every penny that is given the amount of hard work blood, sweat and tears that is shed through these athletes is hard. How do you think they are motivated by family and passion yes but that’s not what’s going to get them home after practice and what is going to put a shelter over their families head. The money is a little bit of motiviation to these players knowing that they are making a living doing what they love just like everyone else is with their jobs, but unlike every other normal job other people enjoy watching and supporting them.

    none of these athletes are doing it for the money cause believe me some of the stuff they do is so hard to accomplish you would give up before you even accomplish it for the money or not.

  30. Camdin

    September 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    @guest lol because Jason Kidd is black or hispanic oh Jason Giambi too. He’s black…..