Professional Athletes are Overpaid

Professional Athletes are Overpaid

Billie Perna , Writer

“My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place- police, firefighters and members of the armed forces.” (Sheldon).  

While professional athletes make millions, police officers risk their lives, dodge bullets, and work countless hours to save lives.  Professional athletes, overpaid sports players, should not be paid more than essential workers that risk their lives like police officers.  

Police officers risk their lives every day, while professional athletes get to do things they love, and get paid millions. Athletes are also getting paid millions of dollars for jobs that they only do for a certain number of games over the course of a few months, whereas other professions require long work hours over the course of an entire year. (“Why…Overpaid” 4). An average NFL career is 4 years,  an average MLB career is 6 years, and an average NBA career is 5 years.  In the meantime,  doctors are working 25-35 years, firefighters 25-30 years, officers 25 years plus and that’s if they don’t get injured. Still, they don’t make as much as professional athletes. Mike Trout, a famous baseball player, signed a 12-year contract getting a base salary of $35,450,000, and carries a total salary of $37,116,666. Kenneth E Correy, police chief of New York City, makes $223,277 even when his salary is 245% higher than the American average.   

Getting hit by a baseball pitch or getting tackled by a soccer player is not as dangerous as getting hit with a bullet or going into a fire. An average bullet travels 3,165 feet per second and moves 1,700 miles per hour (mph) or 2,493 frames per second (fps). Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees Fahrenheit at floor level and can rise to 600 degrees Fahrenheit at eye level. Inhaling this burning air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin. Nick Swisher got hit by Vicente Padilla in the ribs (the worst area to get hit by a baseball) at 97mph and stated, I couldn’t feel the pain because I was so angry. (“ESPN”) This means that fires and bullets are more life threatening than getting hit by a 97 mph baseball pitch.    

People love watching professional athletes, however, they should not be paid as much as essential workers. Essential workers risk their lives going into fires and getting hit by bullets, while athletes may have to sit out for a season or so, but then can go back to playing. Maddison Perna, Monmouth Women’s Soccer Player, tore her ACL and both meniscus’, a severe injury, and had to stay out from soccer for a year. She worked hard to get back to playing and stayed fit to then go back the following year, while, as of January 31, 2022, there have been thirty-four officers shot and killed in the line of duty (“News|… Killed” 2). This shows that essential workers risk their lives every day and still are getting paid less.     

Police officers and firefighters are essential workers and make the world safer, while athletes aren’t. While officers and firefighters had to work overtime during Covid-19, athletes stopped playing their sports, and it wasn’t a big deal. Many players from different sports such as Avery Bradley, Lakers basketball player, Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies baseball player, and Tobin Heath, USA National Women’s Soccer soccer player. On the other hand, there was short staffing due to Covid-19 for police officers and firefighters, and it led to them having to work voluntary and mandatory overtime. Sometimes they had to work seventy-two hours straight, and normal shifts were 48 hours. The federal government needs to fund the fifty states to enable essential workers to make a more equitable salary. Workers on the line of duty should be paid more than those put on television.      


Works Cited

“The Horrors of Getting Hit by a Pitch.” ESPN 15 Feb. 2023. Web.

“FOP Monthly Update: Officers Shot and Killed” News| Officers Shot and Killed 1 Feb. 2023.


Perez, Zaira. “How Area First Responders Have Responded to Covid-19 Overtime, Fatigue.” 

Denton Record-Chronicle  15 Feb. 2023. Web.

 Higgins, Clay. “US Representative Clay Higgins 3rd District of Louisiana.” Op-Ed in the

Washington Examiner 22 Jun. 2022. Web. 

“Why do Professional Athletes Overpaid” IPL 15 Feb. 2023. Web.