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Do Athletes Deserve Millions?

As the United States goes through a recession, many professional athletes are still being paid gigantic contracts. Do they really deserve these outrageous paychecks? The simple answer is NO, however there are a few positives involved with giving out this amount of money.

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Life is hard for so many ordinary Americans. As they are struggling financially, people are expected to ask: Why do athletes continue to receive higher and higher salaries? I believe, like many, it is crazy to pay a single person $100 million (in Michael Vick’s case) within a span of a few years. In 2011 alone, Alex Rodriguez is projected to make a whopping $32 million!

With this type of money comes a large amount of responsibility, and many athletes today have failed to invest their money wisely. Countless professional athletes have wasted the gifts they have been given. According to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, numerous athletes have had to file for bankruptcy due to poor choices with their money. Some of these athletes include NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who wasted his earnings of $120 million, and boxer EvanderHolyfield who squandered more than $200 million. The National Basketball Players Association estimates that 6-to-8 percent of NBA players end up broke. These are just some of many who have shown that professional athletes really don’t deserve multi-million dollar contracts.

Even though there are many negatives to giving athletes extremely large amounts of money, there still remain a few positives. The pricey contracts that teams give to their players, keep these elite players on their team. These highly paid superstars attract fans to the games and keep people interested. Without fans, we would not have the huge sporting events that attract so much attention and money. Although there are a lot of irresponsible athletes, there are some that use their money wisely to help benefit others. For example, Steve Nash has an international foundation that helps promote children’s health in underprivileged countries. Also, in contrast to many highly paid superstars, Drew Brees founded a very successful foundation that is working on the fight against cancer and providing education and care for children who need it.

As professional athletes continue to receive larger and larger paychecks, the results have shown that teams should not give out so much money. So many ordinary people are struggling day in and day out. Athletes’ salaries make the situations that ordinary people are in seem worse. The athletes in the news don’t ever have to worry about their finances. Even though the situation most likely will not change anytime soon, it has become clear that a change needs to be made!