The Tiger Woods Effect
The term “professional athlete” can and is often applied to anyone and everyone who holds a job as an athlete or sports competitor. Often, these “professional athletes” are glorified and held to a standard above what an everyday citizen is held at. They are given the best equipment to compete against the best of the best. However, a common factor of criticism is the salary that these professional athletes receive to compete in their various sports. While athletes are often given a large sum of money as a salary, they are extremely far from being overpaid. The hours of practice and the levels at which they must constantly play are nothing short of colossal.
The salaries of professional athletes are first and foremost set and controlled by the marketplace. The Law of Supply and Demand work with professional athletes as well. If the fans of one sport want to see a particular team more than other teams, the players for that team will likely get paid more. For the 2009 NFL season, the total television contracts had a worth of $20.4 billion. This price was split between three major TV networks. The NFL is making over $20 billion dollars in just television contracts, and its players are paid accordingly (Haskins).
In general, sports can be defined as a business, with the athletes as their products. Because of this, athletes are paid their expected worth. In other words, they are only paid a salary that they can pay back to the team through their playing. In 1986, Jim Kelly was offered a large (at the time) contract of $1.5 million per year as a quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. Almost immediately after Kelly’s deal was announced to the public, season ticket sales jumped by over 5,000. These combined 5,000 ticket sales gave the Buffalo Bills an additional $1.5 million dollars of revenue. Kelly had earned his years pay even before his first day of work. The owners of sports teams know how to...