It is an understatement to say that professional athletes are over-glorified nowadays. Football, baseball, soccer, basketball, all of these sports and many others put their players on pedestals where they’re considered untouchable gods. We, mere mortals, need to bow down to their amazing skills.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like sports or that I don’t appreciate any athletes’ work. I’m an athlete too. I know how it’s hard to be an athlete and all the things you have to give up to reach your goals. But I still don’t think that people should get paid millions of dollars for that. Have you ever noticed that they make so much money that at some point, it doesn’t even make a difference if they get more? Their lifestyles just can’t get any better.
And don’t even get me started on the difference between men’s and women’s wages. Take The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes. The first woman to show up is number 51, Serena Williams. Spoiler alert, she’s also the only woman on a list of 100 athletes. And, I don’t believe that the lack of female players on the list is just because they don’t try hard enough.
As an example of this, I can’t stop thinking about the U.S. women’s soccer team. In case you never heard about this fight, the U.S. women’s team was demanding payment equal to the men’s soccer team. They played much more, won many more times and even practiced more. But that didn’t mean anything for the U.S. Soccer Federation.
However, this is not my point. What really bothers me is how athletes, mostly men, are made out to be rock stars, the best of our society, the best you could ever be. You can get money and attention just by playing your favorite sport. I strongly disagree with this system.
No one should be put on a pedestal, and the ones that get the closest to deserving that type of glorification are the ones fighting for others and putting their lives at risk, like people who go to third-world countries to help dying children. People who actually help others should be getting credit for their work. No offense, but running around a ball or puck or whatever your favorite sport does is not that big of a deal.
Despite everything, I’m not that naive and I know that sports have become a market that sells. Players are not only athletes, their names become brands and anything that they touch can be charged 10 times more. But, honestly, this has just gotten out of hand. Society’s praise of public figures is unhealthy, and the way that many markets exploit it is wrong.
There’s at least one bright side to this devotion to sports. Many athletes pursue academic careers to continue playing or as a way to reach the professional level. In some ways, sports are a way to keep kids in school.
Overall, athletes are deserving of good payment because they work hard. But in my opinion, society should think about how much they should actually be paid, and that they are not actual gods.
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