Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Big money in sports

I do like sports, but I'm not certain how I feel about the big money the players make.

On one had, professional sportsmen and women are some of the best athletes in the world. The best of the best are those that have very few rivals who can seriously match their abilities in their particular sports. I do also believe that most professional athletes work hard to maintain their game, and the top players have a extremely hard work ethic that probably puts most of us to shame. For the most part, these are exceptional and gifted individuals that deserve to be paid very well. Some of them even put the lives on the line. How well should they be paid is perhaps the question ? With professional sports, the money is not just for the individual abilities, but more and more the commercial draw of the sport and the star players. This is where the math gets a little silly, but I can see how Tiger Woods is perhaps worth $100M over 5 years to Nike, but Gatorade ? That's a lot of liquid !

On the other hand, some players don't appear to deserve it. Certain players are very good at sports and enjoy the chance to get paid to play their game. However, a bad season, a bad play or off-field personal events raise fan blood pressures and inflammatory accusations are often justified. Although not directly their fault, these players are in the public spotlight, which makes their compensation a public matter
(I was going to say "unfortunately", but as I've already suggested, without the public, their performance and their sports would not exist). I'm not certain if the comparison is valid, but I'm sure there are big money brokers on Bay Street that would be very embarrassed if we knew what they were making ! So, players need to learn that they are truly lucky individuals and should make every effort to show they are worth the millions they are paid. Whether this is by bringing home the trophies or being the hardest working bench player, supporting their team mates or doing community charity work as a recognized star. They should also try and be true role models for the young fans. Seeing Tiger's poor losing attitude or hearing about drunken Portsmouth soccer players leaves a bad taste.

So on that note, and to bring this around to what prompted this post, here are the current list of highest paid US and International sport people in the world today. Are they worth it ?


Suze20TO said...

Ignoring endorsements for a moment, I find the difference between salary and winnings interesting. A lot of these athletes are guaranteed their salary for years no matter how they perform (perhaps being rewarded for past performance or hopes for the future).

Others, like the tennis players/golfers could lose most of their earnings if they stopped performing tomorrow (yes, they get minimal compensation for showing up but if they stop winning matches or making cuts, they would not have any bacon to take home).

PJMixer said...

Good point darlin'