General Question

Trustinglife's avatar

Do you think professional athletes would still play if they only made a "regular" working wage?

Asked by Trustinglife (6574 points ) June 26th, 2008

A basic wage, as in the $20–30,000/year range. Enough to live on, without a ton of frills. Oh, and they’d have to give endorsement money to charity. This is hypothetical. Would they still do it, do you think? Examples are great – those you think would still play, and those who wouldn’t.

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26 Answers

Randy's avatar

I think they would. Its an easy job that allows travel. I would do it in an instant. I think if you tried to do this now, they’d all tell you to F-off, then get their bodyguards to body slam and throw you outside.

richardhenry's avatar

Yes, I think many would. People rarely go into sport thinking it will make them rich, and besides, it’s a great job even without the cash. If you can be paid to do something you love then you are doing well.

Trustinglife's avatar

Hmm. Randy’s got a point – I wonder if the current ones would adjust if this was somehow dictated to them. (Like maybe we became Communist or something.) Or if they’d throw a fit and quit. That’s really my question.

Yeah, the supply probably would still be big if they all had to be replaced. Although the quality would go down.

reed's avatar

I think many would still play. Though I think the level of play would be substantially lower because those that have the aptitude for other careers that pay more would opt to engage in those instead, especially if you restrict your range from 20k-30k.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Well I think that some people going pro would reconsider because a lot of people I know that are getting scholarships for football or basketball etc. are only playing to make there dad happy or so they can make easy cash. I tell the ones who want easy cash that they might not make it and if they don’t then they could make less than the national average.

As for the mass majority, they do what they love and I’m sure that they will continue no matter what they make.

Trustinglife's avatar

I didn’t mean to restrict the salary to below national average. Let’s just say the $ is average. My point was that they wouldn’t be making a huge salary, but they’d be comfortable and living just fine. Would our current pro athletes still play?

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

I am sure that some would quit, not only because they wouldn’t be making money, but also because they have already set their life up with expensive luxuries and they might try to doing something else to make sure they keep them.

jrpowell's avatar

Lets be honest. Most of these guys (maybe 75%) only went to college because they were good at sports. They would probably be making less than the national average if it wasn’t for their athletic ability. So most would probably be doing pretty well if they only played sports considering the alternatives.

-This is when I prepare to have people verbally beat the shit out of me.

Trustinglife's avatar

No, I think you’re probably right on. Why do you think you’d get the shit beat out of you? What do you think the disagreement would be?

Randy's avatar

I agree jp, and I’m gonna go ahead and say that there are way to many “thugs” in pro sports. Has a week gone by any time recently that a college or pro athlete hasn’t been arrested/gone to court/been sued for some sort of trouble. That’s one reason sports arnt as interesting to me anymore.

waterskier2007's avatar

the reason that athletes must make so much is that their careers are so short. athletes “work” for MAYBE 15 years. if they were on a salary like normal workers they couldnt retire because they wouldnt have built up enough retirement money. its simple really. with the lifespan of their careers they need to make more money than average. im not trying to justify salaries like jake longs 75 million – 5 year thing. but hockey players arent paid too much. something around there is good

cookieman's avatar

@waterskier2007: I agree. Hockey salaries are a good benchmark. And you are right about the short career-span.

The problem isn’t the salaries – it’s the big babies/thugs that receive them then do everything they can to appear ungrateful to the fan-base that pays their salaries.

Certainly this isn’t all highly paid players – but those are the ones that stand out.

waterskier2007's avatar

its a problem, because they get accustomed to lifestyles from the salaries, so they demand the salaries, but the only reason they have the lifestyles is because of the salaries. so then its a cycle because salaries lead to lifestyles, which lead to wanting higher salaries, which leads to….. you get the point

ccatron's avatar

but do you think that $20k to $30k is a reasonable amount for a highly skilled worker in a highly competitive industry? most athletes put a lot more effort and time into their job than I do and I make more than $30k. they sacrifice their bodies day in, day out, and they are expected to be #1 by everyone who watches. that’s a lot of pressure. the amount they get paid shows how much the team owners value that athlete. and if someone else values the athlete more than another person, they’ll pay more. so it becomes a “who has more money?” game.

I do think they make way too much money, though. especially the ones who haven’t lived long enough to learn how to manage money and have maturity issues.

waterskier2007's avatar

@ccatron, i think when reed said that, he meant restricting it by 20–30k, meaning that choosing one or the other routes would lead to losing money

ccatron's avatar

@waterskier – I was answering the original question.

waterskier2007's avatar

@ccatron, oh i see that. sorry. it just so happens that reed used the same value for his argument

marinelife's avatar

There’s an awful lot of smugness in this thread. How many of you would be sterling characters if you had been praised for your “talent” since you were quite young, treated differently from your peers, told you were a star and very special, and then given a potload of money in the form of salary and signing bonus when you were in your early 20s?

I think football players are very human and just what we as a society make them.

waterskier2007's avatar

yeah but thats the whole point were arguing, why do they have to be given that potload of money?

marinelife's avatar

@waterskier2007 We could stop it all by boycotting pro football. No ticket sales=no big salaries.

waterskier2007's avatar

yeah get that to happen and ill join you. i dont watch anyways, besides the super bowl

cookieman's avatar

@Marina: Well that is the point of the day, isn’t it. They are all too human and ultimately they are treated as you describe because it makes an even bigger potload of money for the owners, merchandisers and advertisers.

I’m in for the boycott.

ccatron's avatar

good luck with the boycott, everyone. let me know how that works out for you. too many people enjoy watching sports to care how much these people make..also, where would you start? football isn’t the only sport where people make a ton of money. look at baseball those guys make a lot more than pro football players do.

marinelife's avatar

I talk a good game, but I am already longing for football season since my Mariners have totally crapped out this year.

I have tried to get into the Devil Rays, but nothing so far. I was happy when Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th. Take that, Barry Bonds. KG did it the real way.

Go Seahawks. And go Coach Holmgren—quickly. I am so happy this is your last year.

bridold's avatar

That’s funny that you asked this question. My friends and I were talking about how ridiculously over-paid those guys are in comparison to people that, I don’t know ,save lives for a living (Firemen, doctors, etc) as opposed to playing a game for a living.

Unfortunately there is really nothing anyone can do about it. I’m guilty of loving football season, too!

To answer the question though, I think they would still do it. Why not? That’s still a nice amount of money to get for playing a game.

buster's avatar

Minor League baseball players only make between around 13,000–30,000 dollars a year from baseball. The minimum monthly wage is $1100. These guys often have second jobs or their significant other is the breadwinner. Some of those guys stay in the minor leagues for years. They do it because they love baseball more than anything although a major league contract is favorable too.

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