Why Do Sports Figures Make SOOOO Much Money?

The players of yesteryear made a good living, well within and comfortably their lifestyle was for the incomes of the times. For the most part, in the early days of sports particularly baseball, the Reserve Clause was a major past of sports ownership. This clause, signed by all players that came into the major leagues made it impossible for a player to leave the team, be traded, get raises or for that matter do anything other than play for that team and the owners will. Few owners were willing to part with their players with this clause and in doing so , dynasties were made. It was for the most part legalized and bona -fide slavery that the players were paid, and owned by the team and it’s owner. Virtually then, the players were a part of legalized slavery..                                   The Yankees large chunk of their 27 championships were do to a large part because of the reserve clause. Owners for the most part were money hungry, greedy men who would squeeze all they could from their players and for the most part, looked out for only themselves. This way of sports went on for  a large part of sports history, then new owners and groups of men came together to form new leagues like the American Football League in 1960 with 8 new teams. Bidding wars started and in the late 60’s a baseball player from the St. Louis Cardinals, Curt Flood considered players should be free of ownership and sued baseball. After a lengthy fight in the courts, a new term came to the forefront, it was called “Free Agency” and with that came arbitration, player associations and the strong armed grasp of controlling owners would be a thing of the past. The bidding wars from rival leagues shot up the salaries and soon, players who made 50,000$ a year were eligible for multi million dollar contracts.                                        With the new leagues and higher contracts,  television contracts with major sports leagues especially through the NFL’s commissioner Pete Roselle attracted millions upon millions of dollars for the thriving leagues. The Collective Bargaining agreement would be instituted which basically spelled out that the income from ALL revenue would be shared equally between owners and players. Andy Messerschmidt for the Atlanta Braves was one of the first so called free agents and from then on, players were free to go and negotiate through agents financial terms for another team unheard of before. Two years ago, the NBA signed a TV deal worth over 38 billion dollars. If your wondering why so many players are rich, remember this, from the income the NBA and other leagues now command. The owners and the players share 50/50 in the revenue. So, that’s why there are so many now billionare owners as well as 100$ million dollar players.                             In 1983 in the NFL which was called the year of the quarterback for so many top notched QB’s coming into the league, John Elway of the Denver Broncos was paid the ungodly sum of one million dollars a year. It was high priced talent in those days which now have paled in comparison to today’s sports salaries. So, when you wonder why athletes today are paid so much money for paying a kids sport, remember, the sports franchises and leagues generate tons of capital and this greenery is shared. The public’s insatiable appetite for sports apparently is never quenched and thus, it may be within the near period of time before we see athletes making the billion dollar mark. So envy of hate as you must, the escalation of the athlete’s salary in professional sports will NOT be going down anytime soon.                                                                                                                   In conclusion, think of it this way. If a person graduates in the top ten of their college, it is not unusual to think that they will be granted a high salary and sought by the best companies. Why? because they are the best of the best and, with that athletes who are the best of the best at what they do competing for positions in major league sports are equal to the same type of capital rewards. To be the best of the best in a capitalistic society is par for the course in America and in other developed countries. To be paid very well for being the best is the way and, athletes who generate huge amounts of revenue from TV exposure will get the same. Like it or not, it’s here to stay and, will go even higher in the near future..


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