Are Athletes Overpaid?


(Image via Scholastic Upfront)

Daron Salazar, Writer

Did you know that Lebron James, an NBA professional, gets paid 88 times the amount the president gets paid? The maximum cap for a president is 400k a year, but we’ll talk about Obama’s salary instead of Trump. Trump has made his salary $1 a year although he donated his first 3 months of earnings to a national park. Now does that not sound a little fishy that athletes get paid more than the president of the United States, someone who can make changes to the whole country, compared to someone who shoots baskets in a net. 

The average salary for an NFL player (football) is 1.9 mil a year, while doctors who save people’s lives for a profession get paid around 195 thousand a year. That’s 9 times the amount of what doctors get paid and the fact that that’s only the average for an NFL player is absurd. Some of these players get paid to just show up for practice and sit on the bench and get paid more than your teacher for a whole lifetime. 

Now despite all of this, some people would disagree with me, and I can see that point of view. I mean these people are entertaining and entertainment pays, so the better you are at the sport the more you get paid. For example, someone like Anthony Davis, an NBA superstar, gets paid 22 million a year, compared to a rookie who spends the majority of the time to sit on a bench for 400k a year. The stats speak for themselves. Anthony Davis scores an average of 25 points per game, and Lonzo ball (a rookie) scores just about 9 points per game. That talent pays. 

What are overpaid are the owners of the teams and franchises, so even if we were to cut down on the salaries per player, it would just make the owners richer. This is true because the players’ are getting paid from sponsors, advertising but mostly from the owner of the team which gives out the players’ salaries. But their salaries aren’t always secure. 

Just like contracts for homes, their contracts for their team can expire so if the team doesn’t want to renew it then they are stuck with no income or team to make a salary. That is unless a different team picks them up but even then they’re spot still isn’t secured since injuries are a big deal in sports. Once an athlete gets injured to where they can’t play anymore, they are also then stuck with no income, so I would say the odds are pretty even when it comes to keeping their job. 

Another thing to point out is that they do have to retire whether it’s because of injuries or age, then they have no income. Which means this athletic job income isn’t always secured or guaranteed to last them until retirement or through retirement. The average age for a professional NBA player to retire is 27 years old which is insanely young. This is because they’re not good enough for the league or out due to injuries. So in my opinion, no, athletes are not overpaid.