A deserved dollar

Marissa Rushton, Opinion Writer

Different people with different talents should be paid different salaries. For e x a m p l e , doctors earn more because they are held to a higher standard and hold more responsibility for human lives every day. Professional athletes are paid $50,850 a year on average. However, the current highest paid athlete is Conner McGregor, making $180 million per year. While some may say professional athletes get paid far too much for what they do, I believe that they are paid fairly. The average retirement age for a professional athlete is 30 years old. Athletes not yet at the retirement age and recieving less compensation may need to find additional income after retiring from their sport. Some people forget that the athlete’s sport is their job. For some, they need to make more money now in order to sustain themselves later on in life. A lot of athletes have dedicated their entire lives to the sport they love and becoming a good player starts at a very young age and requires much commitment and training. Most kids get introduced to sports at the age of six or seven but some even earlier. As members of the Xavier community, we see this everyday. Future Saints are put into teams who practice together for years in order to get down the right skills for their specific sport. These children are trained to eventually play together in high school and become great players who know the sport well. According to Scholarship Stats, only about 7% of high school athletes go on to play in college. After college sports, less than 2% of those individuals play professional sports. Seeing this, one could only start to understand the amount of time, commitment and effort put into becoming a professional athlete. These athletes often suffer multiple injuries that they have to live the rest of their lives with. When an athlete becomes injured, they cannot play for a certain period of time as they spend their energy in physical therapy instead and, in some cases, live the rest of their lives with complications due to that injury. Well-known athletes such as Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes bring in money for their team because of their popularity. The team then makes more money because of that athlete. These more popular athletes are usually compensated more because they bring in more money to their team and sport. Some people believe these athletes do not deserve the money they receive because they are the same as the other players. However, the players who are paid higher wages are typically more talented or more popular. Some players who are more popular than others sell more merchandise, as fans know them better so it only makes sense that they earn more money for themselves and their families. This is fair because the companies commonly use the more popular players’ names or faces to sell their products. Yes, some professional athletes spend their money on unnecessary and bizarre things such as absurd animals or excessively large and or multiple homes. Not all athletes know what to do with all the money they make and make bad decisions. However, this does not mean all professional athletes spend their money poorly. There are many wonderful, charitable athletes who put their hard earned money toward good causes that make a difference in the world. For example, Derek Jeter, a former professional baseball shortstop, is widely known for launching the Turn 2 Foundation. He and his father have made efforts toward motivating and helping young people to turn away from drugs and “Turn 2” healthy lifestyles, using the money Jeter has made from being a professional athlete. Yes, some athletes are paid an extreme amount of money, but they work harder than what people sometimes give them credit for; if someone works hard on something for their entire life, they deserve every dollar they make.