Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Net Worth? Not So Much

I wasn't pissed off enough today, so I decided it would be fun to see how much professional athletes make. Not your A-Rods or Shaqs, just your average pro players. The most concise table I found shows figures for 2006.

Basketball (NBA) -- $5,000,000
Baseball (MLB) -- $2,800,000
Football (NFL) -- $1,750,000
Hockey (NHL) -- $1,500,000
Men's Golf -- $973,495
Women's Tennis -- $345,000
Men's Tennis -- $260,000
Women's Golf -- $162,043

Sports Illustrated has an article on the top 50 highest paid athletes. Tiger Woods tops their list, pocketing $127,902,706 for last year, although $105,000,000 of it was endorsements. So his salary (winnings) was just $22,902,706. I could probably make do with that.

As I've mentioned before, I'm in tech support. More precisely, I do software support. My salary is about $35k, which according to Salary.com, is way below average for my area.* But even if I was making the top salary for my job, I'd only be bringing in $55k.

Don't you mock me, Allen Iverson, I don't have your legal bills.

But forget me, all I do is answer phones. How about some other, actually important professions?

EMT - $27k

Firefighter - $40k

Police Officer - $45k

Elementary School Teacher (20 years + experience) - $50k

Garbage Collector (New Jersey) - $50k

Neurosurgeon - $400k

President of the United States - $400k**

How ****ed up is that? What are our priorities here? Is this some bizzaro universe where basketball players make more than firefighters?! Why are we so complacent about this inequity? Does anyone even notice this glaring disparity
besides when the players strike for yet more money?
See, this is the kind of sh*t that pisses me off. Tiger Woods seems like a nice guy, but does he really contribute more than the President? Michael Vick is a criminal. Is he worth more (monetarily) than a cop? I don't think so.
I love sports, and regularly go to hockey and baseball games. Am I to blame for this? Are my $32 tickets the reason for these inflated salaries? Probably not. Most sports teams don't even make a profit. So how do the professional sports leagues justify multi-million dollar pay rates?
I really want to know.

*I've been in tech support awhile, and while I am in the lower half, I think their figures are a little high.

**Salary is $400,000 a year plus a $50,000 expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, and $19,000 for entertainment.

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