Are Professional Athletes Overpaid?

Growing up, children used to say they aspired to be doctors or firefighters when they grew up. Nowadays if you ask a child what they want to be more are quick to say they want to be a famous music artist or NBA player. Television, iPhones, and easy access to social media have contributed to the hype of the entertainment/sports world. Recently I learned that Alex Rodriguez, who plays for the New York Yankees, will be paid $275 million to play for the Yankees for the next 10 years. It was the most lucrative baseball contract in history. This means for the next decade, A-Rod will take home $27.5 million a year, that’s more money than most people see in their entire lifetime.

The salary of professional athletes has always been a hot topic on public forums. While we do enjoy watching our favorite teams play during the sports seasons, most feel that athletes salaries are ridiculously high while other figures in our community who hold far more important jobs are extremely underpaid. The money athletes are being paid would be money better spent on education or paying teachers or people who impact our lives or the community. Firefighters, policemen, and soldiers go through extensive training and put their lives in danger every day for the sake of protecting us and our country yet the average salary for each of those occupations isn’t even a fourth of what an NBA player makes in one year. The military protects our country, which ultimately helps our economy in a much bigger way than athletes or team owners do. However, the salary of a high ranked sergeant in the Army is just over $66,000. Teachers may not help our economy directly, but they educate our youth which, in a few years, will be affecting the economy in huge ways. The president of the United States has an annual salary of $400,000; why does the man with the most important job in the world make far less than Kobe Bryant? A doctor goes through years of medical school, is faced with thousands of dollars of debt once they’re done with school, only to make less than the rookie bench warmer in the NFL.

Unfortunately, athletes are paid by the owners of their respected teams, not by the government. This means that even if we cut their salaries, it wouldn’t benefit the general public at all; it would just mean more money in the owner’s pockets. Even though I think professional athletes are overpaid, it doesn’t matter. No amount of letters to the NBA heads or protest pages will change that. However, better question for us to ask is, are professional athletes over/under taxed? Once we consider the take home pay after taxes minus the additional costs associated with this lifestyle spread over a lifetime, we can decide whether or not this is an appropriate salary. After much consideration, it is my belief that it’s still a ludicrous amount to pay one individual.

My Interview with An Athlete

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of interviewing a rising basketball star who brought his talents from Virginia, to New York, and is now overseas playing for our country.

Interviewee: Dallis Joyner

Sport: Basketball

Age: 24

Weight: 248lbs

Height: 6’8

Where are you from?

Norfolk, Virginia.

How long have you been playing basketball?

I’ve been playing ball since I was six years old. We had like, a little basketball hoop outside of my house so growing up we used to always be outside.

Who was your biggest influence growing up?

Michael Jordan and high school basketball coach, Tyran Matthews.

Was your family supportive of your decision to play professional basketball or did they have other dreams for you?

No they always thought basketball was my ticket out the bad environment I grew up in, they always rooted for me, always attended my games even if it meant traveling from Virginia to long island where I attended Stony Brook University.

Besides basketball, what are some of your other interests?

Well I make music in my spare time, I write poetry but it comes off as music or rap lyrics. I like trying new foods and exploring different cities and restaurants.

What do you plan to do after you retire from playing basketball?

Good question, I haven’t thought that far yet. Hopefully I’ll be established enough to take care of my family. Actually I might pursue teaching as well. If I can make a difference in these kids world like some of my teachers did then that’s something I’d want to do.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Still overseas, hopefully on a different team. Right now I’m in Israel.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sports?

Getting my team into the NCAA tournaments at Stony Brook. I made the winning shot in 2012 that got my team into the tournament.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?

I try to get a lot of sleep in my rest time, that’s how people overwork themselves and end up tired. I’m always the first in the gym and the last to leave; I allow that extra work out time so that I can allow my body that time to rest outside the gym.

What would be your ultimate achievement?

Starting a youth program in my hometown that promotes sports as well as homework help and show them there are more opportunities for them outside of Norfolk.

How do you set your goals?

I tend to always make my goals are realistic, I set more near goals and everything else will fall into place in the future. I always try to push myself to be better at what I do so if I score 10 points in one game I want to score 12 in the next.

What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?

My biggest challenge was tackling everything that was going on at school and with my team at Stony Brook as well as trying to keep everything with my family together while being more than seven hours away. My family depended on me a lot to be the one to financially support them on top of other personal issues we were going through.

What is your diet like?

I eat everything but lately I’ve been into juicing and eating more seafood.

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

Keep God first and everything else will fall into place.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I’ve always looked up to people that set the bar high like NBA top scorers like Michael Jordan.

Anything else you’d like to share?

People always say its cliché to “Follow your dreams, do what you love to do, etc” like you can’t do that and that your dreams aren’t realistic but I’m living proof that you can achieve those dreams. I came from a bad background, never had anything given to me except for my talent, been arrested, never thought I’d even go to college when I was younger, and look where I am now. If you want to do something in life don’t ever let anyone deter you from that, not family, not friends, and trust me there will be people that tell you you’re crazy for having that dream but don’t ever listen to them.

5 People I Associate Myself With

Kenneth Dodson– Kenneth Dodson is a 51- year old retired NYPD officer who currently resides in Suffern, NY with his fiancée, their two dogs, Kobe and Bo, and Kenneth’s teenaged son from his previous marriage. This man also happens to be my father and has been the definition of the perfect parent for as long as I can remember. Growing up in the same household with someone who serves as role model to me there was a new lesson to learn every day. Because of his influence I was able to successfully navigate in the world and know exactly what kind of parent I want to be when I get older.

156347_178279268864854_6866438_n(3)Nicole Dodson– Nicole Dodson is a 51- year- old event planner who currently resides in Hillcrest, NY with her two daughters. Besides the fact that she’s my mother, she’s also one of the most compassionate and fun people to be around. My mother can instantly make someone who’s having the worst day feel better and is always willing to put her family before herself. These are all golden and rare qualities to possess but for this reason alone, I choose to always keep her very close to me.

Dominique Dodson– Dominique Dodson is a 25-year-old aspiring criminal psychologist who began her studies at SUNY Cortland. After graduating she took up employment working with mentally challenged adults and is now a social worker as she completes her degree at NYU. Dominique is an ambitious young lady who has been a role model to me and shows that you can always get back on the right track no matter how many mistakes you made.

kjKenneth Dodson Jr. – Kenneth Jr., or as I call him KJ is my extremely athletic little brother who is currently in middle school. In addition to being a star athlete on his school’s baseball team he has also remained on honor roll for several years straight. While most would become arrogant, KJ continues to be a humble young kid who would rather hang out with his family or play Xbox instead of being worried about parties and being “cool”.

gramsieAnna Boutelle– Anna Boutelle is a 77-year-old retired grandmother of five. She worked as a school prinicipal for most of her career before retiring at the age of 65. She now resides in Riverdale, NY with her husband Allen. Anna is a very loving and sweet person who goes above and beyond for her children and grandchildren, because of this she’s remained as one of the closest people to me.