Overpaid to Play

Are some professional athletes’ salaries unethically high?

Jamey Simon, Staff Writer

Every year the average NFL football player makes 2.1 million dollars. Matthew Stafford, a quarterback for the Detroit Lions, had a five-year contact for 135 million dollars. For Tom Brady, quarterback for the Patriots and now for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s 20.5 million dollars per year.

Since when did a sport become so important that we paid them more than we pay firefighters or surgeons or people fighting for our country? 

A lot of people argue that this is a good pay for professional football players. They work hard and provide enjoyment for us, so why not pay them well?

Although most players spend their money well and don’t necessarily abuse it, this cannot be said about other players. The infamous Antonio Brown has had multiple scandals and problems with money. Brown has a complicated past, being dropped from the Steelers, the Raiders, and the Patriots. In 2018, while playing for the Steelers, Brown made over 16 million dollars. In 2019 on the Patriots, he was making 5 million and currently will be making 1 million for the Buccaneers. He is asking for more. 

Brown wanted over 40 million dollars from the Patriots to make up for “unpaid salary.” This is ridiculous considering that he was dropped from all the teams because of his aggressive nature and repeated misbehavior. Brown has been accused on multiple accounts of rape and sexual assault. And he is still getting paid.

It would be foolish not to acknowledge the players who do good with their money by creating charities and giving back to the community. Many players, including Brandon Cooks, Chris Long, J.J. Watt and Nate Sudfeld, spend a lot of their money for good causes.

Many of the owners of these teams are billionaires themselves, so that is where the standard comes in for how much money a player should be paid. This all comes down to good character. If an owner is giving back to the community and donating to charities of their choice, then they will have less to pay their players and this might be looked at as fair.

The football players have a union, so if they are not paid enough or the owners try to lower their pay they will go on strike. Although a union might be a good idea for every day laborers, it is ridiculous for exceedingly well-paid players.

I think it might be helpful to show some of the players, excusing the ones with a good attitude, a slideshow of poverty in the United States. How about making the players such as Antonio Brown look at faces of firefighters who have given their lives protecting families and their families left without a parent, a brother, or a sister?

We can also look at how much we are spending on tickets for a game, as this helps determine a player’s salary. The average ticket to an NFL game is around 151 dollars, but this can vary depending on your seats and who is playing that day. A huge factor would be the Super Bowl. One ticket to a Super Bowl game is 10,000 dollars. Thousands of people spend this kind of money to watch the Super Bowl in person. Last year’s Super Bowl alone was expected to make 17.2 billion dollars in spending worldwide 

It comes down to everyone asking themselves where their priorities lie. Although going out to a football game and spending your own money is your right, just keep in mind the amount you’re spending and where it goes. In a world where a sports player is paid millions and the average salary for an Army soldier is under 50,000 dollars a year, we must take a second look at the world’s values and hope that new morals will arise.