Professional sports is not about sports anymore. Money, money, and more money. We might as well just change the names of all these leagues. The NBA would be the NMA (National Money Association), the NFL would be the NML (National Money League), and the MLB would be the MLM (Major League Money). But it doesn't stop there. Despite how people argue it, collegiate sports are becoming more and more focused on financial gain than before, which makes the NCAA the NCMA (National Collegiate Money Association). No longer do people in the sports industry do things "for the love of the game", but in hopes to make millions of dollars. Players always say they love the game, but then why do they seem to perform better in what we call a "contract year", or the year before they enter free agency in hopes to make more money. Why do players hold out from training camp à La Darrelle Revis of 2010 until they get the money that they demand.
Recently, the average baseball salary went up to $3.1 million. If you break that down into 162 games, that's roughly $20 thousand per game! The average American would have to work for an entire year to make what these players make in only two games.
And we also lose months in lockouts where billionaires are fighting with multi-millionaires about guess what? Money. And it's a very elitist system as well in that those small stadium workers, who probably don't yearly make what a player makes in a game, don't get any say in the matters causing the lockout. They are just thrown out of their jobs until the greedy money-whores agree. And with the case of the recent NBA, or should I say NMA, lockout, it took them months to agree on splitting the money 50/50. How hard was that? Players making more in 2 games than the average person makes in a year are complaining that their not being paid enough.
In college sports, now smaller schools are scheduling matchups against the bigger schools with full knowledge that they're going to lose, but just hoping that the big school ensures them a financial return.
Now, in the past couple years there have been plenty of examples of players taking less money than they "deserve" in order to win a championship. Exhibit A: LeBron James. LeBron went to the Heat last summer to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a "super-team". He made it known he was taking less money because of his desire for a ring. But his "less" was $16 million. What does he do to deserve that? Why aren't we giving our everyday heroes, policemen and firefighters, the salaries that these athletes make. The last time I checked, LeBron didn't put his life on the line by going to Miami. And he gets nearly half the year off where firefighters are expected to risk their life if needed every day of the year. A successful policeman could make $80 thousand in a year. To make LeBron James' base yearly salary, it would take this policeman TWO HUNDRED YEARS. Yes that's right, 200. Let's realize how we are not prioritizing things correctly.
In essence, let's not become the NCMA, NML, MLM, and NMA. Let's go back to the thing we love. Sports.