Over the past few years, we have seen some very outrageous contracts signed in the world of professional sports. This summer in particular didn’t fail to entertain us, as many high level players cashed in and got the big bucks we all desire. Von Miller signed his 114.5 million dollar deal, Mike Conley signed the biggest contract in basketball history at 153 million over five years, and Kevin Durant’s two year 54 million dollar deal, which would have been more if he had signed for longer and wasn’t playing with so many superstars on the team already. However all of these impressive contracts don’t come close to some of baseball’s highest earning players. The world of sports shows us daily how some athletes across all leagues are not receiving what they deserve, and many are receiving numbers they have never earned.
In terms of team valuations, the NFL proves its dominance as the most successful sport in the United States. The average valuation of an NFL team is a whopping 1,918 while the average MLB team valuation is 1,200. To make things worse, the average NBA team valuation is 1,106. As we see by the numbers, it would make more sense for NFL contracts to be paying out more since it is the most successful sport in our nation. The MLB is able to pay their players much more due to having no salary cap, max contracts, and because younger players aren’t up for contract arbitration until after three seasons. This means teams can be loaded with young talent and pay them league minimum salaries. This is why players such as Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, and Clayton Kershaw can have 325, 292, 275, and 215 million dollar contracts, respectively.
This is one of the most outrageous circumstances in sports today. Baseball players, who aren’t pitchers, will have a max of 20 times in a game when they will be able to make an impact on the game, including times up to bat or making a defensive play. Then the pitchers who make millions and millions are only on the mound once every five games, which comes out to be 32 nights pitching across the season. I understand the argument of number of games played, to an extent, but when you have very few times that you are actually impacting the outcome of a game you should not be making more money than players such as LeBron James or Peyton Manning who are essentially responsible for the success or failure of their teams.
It’s because of this very reason that teams across all leagues should be allowed to reward their players in adequate ways, based on the actual impact they have on every game they play. LeBron James is worth more than the 22 million dollars that he made last season, if you compare his impact on the games he played to Giancarlo Stanton’s impact. LeBron is worth much more than the money he is allowed to have under the salary cap that the Cavaliers are restricted to. Also, with the NFL being the most successful sport in the nation, why are we subjecting them to a salary cap while teams like the Yankees simply dish out millions only to have to pay a small luxury tax? We should be rewarding the teams and players that bring in the most money, not holding down some of our greatest teams and players with salary cap constrictions.
It is time for us to make our sporting world truly fair and allow capitalism to seep into our professional sports. If the MLB can pay a tax for their massive amount of expenditure, then we should not be limiting our two other biggest sports with some of our best American athletes. Allow these athletes to get the money that they have spent their entire lives earning, simply because one is better at basketball or football instead of baseball should not limit him.
Berg, T. (2014). 5 reasons MLB stars make so much more than other pro athletes. Retrieved from July 20, 2016, from http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/11/giancarlo-stanton-contract-mlb-money-nba-nfl
NFL’s richest contracts for 2016. (2015, June 2). Retrieved July 20, 2016, from http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap3000000478529
Sports Business Research Network. (2015).Football: NFL Team Valuations (Forbes) (in mil. of $ - add 000,000). Retrieved from www.sbrnet.com.ezproxy.samford.edu/researchrc.aspx?ResCode+nflte1
Sports Business Research Network. (2015). Basketball: NBA Team Valuations (Forbes) (in mil. of $ - add 000,000). Retrieved from http://www.sbrnet.com.ezproxy.samford.edu/researchrc.aspx?ResCode=nbate1
Sports Business Research Network. (2015). Baseball: MLB Team Valuations (Forbes) (in mil. of $ - add 000,000). Retrieved from http://www.sbrnet.com.ezproxy.samford.edu/researchrc.aspx?ResCode=mlbte1