The debate continues for professional athlete pay

Giovanni Lopez and Rhiannon Stroberg


What is a professional athlete worth? Whatever their skills, strengths and popularity are, making athletes worth every cent they are paid.

I hate to be so blunt and honest, but it’s absolutely true. They are considered the best of the best at what they do. Best at passing basketballs, best at throwing footballs, best at kicking soccer balls, anything that they touch has to be seen as the best.

Once you are considered an athlete playing at the pro level, then comes the popularity you have among the millions of people that watch you perform. How much are people willing to pay to support you?

Take Giovanni Dos Santos, starting forward for the Mexico National Soccer team. The dude is 26 years old, and is in his prime. Oh, and the L.A. Galaxy, a Major League Soccer team, just paid $10.1 million for his trade to their club. Now, there are obviously other athletes that are making more, but Dos Santos is a huge example of why they are paid so much.

Dos Santos is one of the most popular players in Mexico, and what city decides to buy him? That would be Los Angeles, the largest Mexican ancestry city in the U.S., with over 30 percent of their population being of Mexican descent. While L.A. Galaxy is already one of the most popular teams, the U.S. hasn’t always had the largest turn out for professional soccer. The people of Mexico, on the other hand, are fanatics. So, you take one of their best, place them on your team, and what do you get? You get a packed stadium, which means higher revenue. Fans are going crazy to watch Dos Santos play.

From the moment he arrived, there were hundreds waiting for him at the airport. He’s selling more jerseys, more tickets, and more soccer in general. Think of it this way, if you were talented at something, and you knew people were willing pay hundreds, thousands, millions to watch you perform your talent, would you believe that you don’t deserve to receive some of that money? Dos Santos has brought a larger consumer to MLS, that hasn’t been done before. He has only been officially part of the team since July of this year, but has already had a huge impact. And yes, Galaxy also signed David Beckham a few years ago, but Dos Santos was six years younger when he signed with the team and is at the top of his game.
Actors and musicians are paid millions to perform, so why not athletes? They’re also entertainers. They travel, are away from their families, and are trained to be the best. What makes a soccer player different? Their values are a constant factor throughout their careers. It’s a constant topic that makes it easier for people to criticize that they make too much. How can they make too much when they are bringing in the revenue? The sport has to pay up. If you want to stop paying athletes so much, stop attending their games.


Why are professional athletes paid so much? That’s the question I’d like to be answered. I think it’s ridiculous that pro athletes, such as football players, are paid handsomely considering that the sport mainly consists of a bunch of buff men in tights tackling and chasing each other around over a ball, just for them to score a touchdown.

Football to me is overrated. I don’t see the appeal in it, but since it’s apparently America’s favorite pastime, I have no choice but to listen to the non-stop annoying hoopla that is usually generated after every game. Some of the hoopla is how

the NFL recently kicked off their season with the New England Patriots vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. Anyone who is familiar with the Patriots is aware of their quarterback Tom Brady, but do they know about the recently traded Asante Cleveland? Cleveland, a tight end from the University of Miami, went undrafted last year and ended up with the San Francisco 49ers. On Aug. 18, Cleveland was traded to the Patriots and managed to land himself a spot on the scout teams, which is basically a 10-man group the NFL keeps not to play in the regular season games, but to develop for the future with limited opportunities for the players to prove themselves and no real job security. In other words, they are the bottom of the NFL food chain.

The only question left is how much would someone, who ranked low enough to land them on the scout team, make? $20,000? $30,000? Try $102,000. That’s how much Cleveland’s one-year deal with New England is for. Cleveland is basically being paid to lift weights and stand around in sweats on Sundays. That’s basically the life of your typical gym-rat.

The NFL is projecting revenue of more than $12 billion for this year, and estimated 1 billion increase from last year, and roughly a $1 billion increase from 2014 with the MLB and NBA following not far behind; and whether you’re Lebron James, Bryce Harper, or this years “Mr. Irrelevant,” a title traditionally given to the last player selected in the NFL, you’ve contributed to those huge profits and you probably deserve a cut of the cake.

I’m not even going to try and guess how many millions top-tier athletes generate through endorsements deals with companies like Nike, Gatorade and Adidas.

While pro athletes’ pay is absolutely ridiculous to me, it’s crazier thinking how much control the NFL has over their players because of the endorsements of big-name brands. Bose, a company that specializes in audio equipment, is one of the many big-named companies that endorse the NFL. As long as Bose is endorsing the NFL, NFL players are not allowed to publicly use rival brand’s headphones. For example, in 2014, 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick was fined $10,000 for wearing Beats By Dre headphones to a press conference. I think that is absolutely ridiculous. Regardless of what I think, I’m just an average Jane who’s opinion to the NFL, or other pro athletes, doesn’t matter.