Excessive Sports Salaries Deserve Higher Taxation

Beck Chambers

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Professional athletes earn an absurd amount of money each year, far more than their professions merit.

When athletes produce exceptional results like winning a league title, they get a bonus or a raise. Even exceptional results, however, are undeserving of the $800,000 a week Bleacher Report says professional Brazilian footballer Neymar Dos Santos Junior receives.

All professional athletes need to take pay cuts, or donate more money to charity.

There are athletes whoa lot of money and yet still demonstrate a sense of social responsibility, like Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Manchester United player Juan Mata, and Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo.  Nevertheless, Ronaldo doesn’t need the $90 million Fox Sports reports he makes yearly.

A charitable example can be seen in Watt’s philanthropy; in 2017 Watt donated $27 million for Hurricane Harvey victims, according to Bleacher Report. Mata has taken similar initiative, promising in 2017 to donate £1400 a week to the charitable Common Goal Foundation, according to Telegraph UK.

Professional athletes should use their status to improve society.

Ronaldo has jumped in on political issues. “Ronaldo is using his voice and platform as an international soccer superstar to help the children of war-ravaged Syria,” reported the Washington Post. 

But this noble behavior still doesn’t justify his outrageous salary.

The NBA salary cap, which states that athletes can not earn more than $94.14 million, is ludicrous.  No single person, especially one who essentially competes in a meaningless game, is worth that much money.

Why does Warriors star Stephen Curry deserve to earn a $44 million yearly salary when the average American heart surgeon, according to Payscale, earns a comparatively meager $297,000? Is throwing a ball threw a hoop 316 times more important than literally saving lives?

The answer is obvious.  Professional sport salaries are immoral.

Overpaid athletes should be donating much their money to charity.  They need to do more for their communities, rather than using their money to propel their own public image. Athletes should use their wealth for good, rather than for clubbing 2 nights a week, as Flamengo reports FC Barcelona star Ronaldo de Assis Moreira is literally bound by his contract to do.

Even though some athletes attempt to compensate for their salaries with philanthropy, acts of charity are not enough to correct the social injustice of their exorbitant pay.  Effective change requires that their salaries be reduced and that more of the revenue from professional sports go straight into the government, which in turn should apply it to programs like health care and infrastructure.

Perhaps the current federal leadership could improve their tax plan by implementing a special tax on professional athletes with excessive salaries.