Professional Athletes are Grossly Overpaid

The sports industry has a great deal of influence over athletes and their fans, coupled with an enormous of amount of wealth circulation a lot of power. Collegiate sports have grown and evolved into an entirely new entity. Athletes have become pawns in a profit-centric world. Looking at what professional athletes get paid out of college and how much they are protected, the amount of power this industry has becomes quite clear. The existence of “owners” in and of itself is indicative of a system that operates on the perception that these athletes are assets whose primary value is a return on investment, contingent on their abilities – reflected as statistical data. This system of motivation has strayed very far away from the origins of the sports. It used to be that playing sports professionally was not a viable means of living because the wages were too low. Now that the sports industry has transformed into a profession to strive for, possibilities and opportunists that await collegiate athletes gone pro have grown to impressive proportions that are well worth the wait and effort; most emphatically the substantial salary.

Major sporting events draw in enormous crowds and so it is only natural to tap into this resource to exploit this large market for a profit. By sponsoring these popular events, a business can improve its brand image and profit simultaneously. Sponsorships of events transferred to sponsoring specific teams, which then lead to total ownership over a team. The necessity for a team’s funding gives investors’ significant power over the fate of the team, such as relocation and pushing for their endorsement of certain brands. An athlete’s image is one urged to reflect that of the owner’s best interests. This is more applicable to professional sports, but a similar celebration of certain behaviors and punishment of others is still evident at the collegiate level. For instance, the prohibition of payment of college athletes, in any form.

An alternative perception is that athletes reflect a culture of capitalism, which is founded on the promotion of self-improvement at the expense of others. Without competition, however, the sports industry would not be what it is today. Without competition, a number of business practices would not exist, especially not advertising. Competition is the founding principle behind most athletic practices. The evolution of sports into a business is sensible seeing as these two models operate on similar principles and in some cases at similar capacities, financially speaking.

I think that professional athletes are grossly overpaid. The level of salary they receive immensely overshadows the contending top salaries, which shows just how idolized and celebrated athletic are in our culture. When the news shines a light on the negative aspects of professional sports, the athletes in question are sheltered to an immoral, and sometimes illegal, extent. This is easily connected as a direct result of the integration of business into this industry. The cost of protecting their investments, no matter how immoral almost always trumps the cost of being forthright about their wrongdoings. All this because they are worth millions to that team and incriminating them might jeopardize the game, or more importantly the franchise’s reputation. Nonetheless, I am a sports fan and I would be remiss to see any of them fail. However, I do think that a readjustment of their values is in order.

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