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Escalating Professional Athlete Salaries Essay

1113 words - 4 pages

Escalating Professional Athlete Salaries
Works Cited Not Included

In recent years, with the growing popularity of sports, athletes salaries have escalated like that of a superb stock equity. Athletes are taking full advantage of their position, causing the average man to wonder how high will they go. Some feel that athletes are greedy people who have lost care for the true meaning of their salary, the love of the game.

Others feel that if a person is able to earn that kind of money, why shouldn't they? Increases in athlete salaries will bring up the question on whether athletes are worth the money by researching the NBA?s new collective bargaining agreement (before and after the approval), by observing the current salaries of top athletes in their respective sports, and by concocting possible solutions. Shaquille O?Neal, formerly of the Orlando Magic, signed almost two years ago with the Los Angeles Lakers for an enormous $120 million over seven seasons.... Alonzo Mourning signed with the Miami Heat for a seven year deal worth about $112 million.... These fat contracts have brought out the question: Are pro athletes worth the millions they are paid? Basketball Hall of Famer David Thompson states, "Players have such a short time to make their money. If you look at others in the entertainment business, you?d think so. Look at Mike Tyson. He made $30 million for the six minutes and 50 seconds it took for him to knockout Frank Bruno" (Rhodes and Reibstein 44). Zachary M. Jones, an attorney at Howard University in Washington D.C., utters, "Superstar athletes are few in number, so the demand is high, which raises the price for their services significantly" (Saporito 61).

Furthermore, Mark Rosen, who has been a sportscaster at WCCO-TV for almost 25 years, also feels pro athletes are not overpaid. He says, "The owners are just trying to get a team together. The problem is they want to do that immediately. "In a couple years, after Garnett develops into a superstar, people will be saying ?Boy, I?m glad we signed him [Garnett].?" Rosen thinks that it was undoubtedly necessary to have rookie salary caps. "If there weren?t those rookie caps, kids out of college, even high school like KG [Kevin Garnett], would be signing these multi-million dollar contracts right after the draft. There is no doubt in my mind that that was a good thing to do." He also feels that these high salaries are good because it shows that revenue is going up (Rosen). Sports salaries have sky rocketed in the past ten to fifteen years. Professional athletes have moved from six figure salaries to nine figure salaries in what seems like a snap of a finger. Michael Jordan, for example, got paid about $35 million a year not counting endorsements. Let?s put that in easier terms: - $439,000 a game - $12,500 a minute played, assuming he plays about 35 minutes per game - $209 a second played - almost $40,000 a jumpshot, assuming he makes 11 jumpshots per game That is a ton...

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