By Mason Pendleton
Peyton Manning was the Colts star quarterback for so many years, even starting a hospital in Indiana, until two injuries forced his retirement. According to Supermoney.com, he made almost $1 million for every game he played. Not every time his team won, but every time he played. Manning isn’t the only high paid sports star: According to USAToday.com, Baseball player Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels, is the top most paid baseball player with an average of $24,083,333 per year. For contrast; the average American household makes only $73,298, according to USA Today.
Football and baseball aren’t the only members of the guilty party. The average NBA player gets paid $5.15 million every year, according to the Huffington Post. This is yet another example of professional athletes who make exponentially more money than an entire household. For a larger comparison, according to BusinessInsider.com, the 22nd best paid state representatives are located in Indiana with an average pay being $38,180.60 for one person. The most paid state representatives, California state representatives, only make $97,197.
A basketball player should not make more money than the person representing the entire state of Indiana on average. If we compare their job descriptions, a person who throws basketballs into hoops for entertainment shouldn’t make an average pay that’s $4,902,803 more than the people that represent their respective states to make them a better place, with duties such as listening to the voters and getting out there to make sure certain voices are heard. Not to mention paperwork!
Such high payments create a large gap in the economy that tend to cause huge problems inside of America itself. According to Forbes.com, only one percent of Americans make that millionaire status that everyone dreams of; the rest only make it to about middle to lower class. $5 million is too much for a person who throws a ball around and into a hoop, especially when you consider there are people who fought for our country that live in poverty. They happen to barely scrape by the average household sum with their own families. According to Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation, since 2015 there are about 5,863 homeless veterans on the street, all from about 4,470 households, and the numbers keep growing. An athlete who makes an average of 5 million could pay to give a house to 36 homeless vets in Indiana every paycheck, which according to Zillow.com, is an average of a whopping $137,300.
Now even with these big sums that could help ordinary people, it’s good to remember that musicians are in the same boat, but they still make a little less. Just because another entertainer makes a lot of money it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s okay to give millions to another. That still creates a gap that needs to be squashed in order to balance the already failing American economy. For contrast of an athlete to entertainers, according to Forbes.com, the highest paid athlete is Floyd Mayweather, who is paid $285 million on average; that’s more than George Clooney and Kylie Jenner.
Maybe it’s time that prices of merchandise and tickets should lower in order to give a more reasonable income to athletes. Athletes are entertainers, and they all get paid more than what they should.
Athletes are hard working people that didn’t lay down on a couch eating cheese puffs to get where they’re at.
But this doesn’t mean that they should be paid millions of dollars to do what they love, when so many Americans live in poverty wishing they could live that life.
It’s too much to ask to raise the pay of every American, but perhaps if we lower the pay of every athlete, the 95 percent can get a little closer to a more reasonable, and bigger, middle class.
Reducing the extreme pay of athletes and entertainers would help to decrease the financial inequality that exists in America.
As viewers and consumers, we need to advocate for this change.