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The Blue & Gray Press | May 22, 2018

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Wallowing Over Wages

By MICHAEL LITTLEJOHN

One of the biggest debates currently raging in the world of sports is whether athletes’ salaries are reaching the point of ridiculousness. With the price tags for top athletes like Tiger Woods climbing well into the millions, many are beginning to argue that a cap needs to be placed on athletes salaries.

Athletes like Tiger Woods and Lebron James are pulling down close to $10 million a year. Defensive end Julius Peppers signed a six-year, $91 million contract with the Chicago Bears, and makes $117,000 in the first seven minutes of a football game. In my mind that’s ludicrous when you think about how there are school districts that need improving and low income housing that needs maintenance.

The United States is behind in education and our future will only prevail if we can teach the next generation and provide every student with the necessary materials. As a college student who will have loans to pay back after graduating, I would like to see the money that athletes get go back towards education.
The cost of books has risen and there are certain sacrifices that students have to make just to get the necessities.

There are dozens of other occupations that deserve higher salaries because they are actually giving back in ways that do more than just giving us something to watch on ESPN.

Teaching is one of the most important occupations, because teachers are preparing the next generation, providing them with crucial skills, honing their reading and writing abilities, often working long hours without thanks. Yet teachers’ salaries continue to be cut or capped, while athletes ride around in gold-plated Ferraris with Gucci interiors.

Police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line every day and still make a fraction of what athletes make. People in the military leave their families at home to defend and protect the country while putting their lives on the line, and make paltry sums compared to even the most amateur athletes.

It’s tragic that none of these real heroes are given the same level of recognition as sports stars like Peyton Manning and David Beckham, never mind a decent salary. Next time you’re watching a sports game and see your favorite athlete on the field or court, remember he’s getting millions, while you’re favorite professor who isn’t watching the game, and is instead grading papers is just scraping by.