Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors earned $26.5 million this year. After negotiations, he generously agreed to take a measly $25 million for the next season. Oh, the poverty!
Let’s look at what some historic sports greats earned in their best years. Babe Ruth took home $80,000 in 1928, Joe DiMaggio earned $37,500 in 1941, Jackie Robinson was paid $45,000 in 1955 and Wilt Chamberlain earned $100k 1961. Ted Williams made $125,000 in 1958, Hank Aaron was paid $250,000 in 1976, and Willie Mays earned $180,000 in 1971.
Of course, inflation has flourished since those vintage years. However, even multiplying the figures by a factor of 10, they’re still ridiculously low compared to the insanely high bucks today’s multimillionaire jocks make.
And remember, pro athlete wages aren’t for 40-hour, 52-week years as the rest of us spend on the job. At most, pampered pro teams play just several hours a day for six months annually. Current pay for pro football, baseball and basketball players, including those just out of college, averages more than $5 million a year.
We may ponder where the pro club owners get all the quadrillions of bucks they hand out so easily. Of course, some comes in from insanely high ticket prices, overpriced greasy stadium food, watered-down $10 drinks and highway robbery parking fees. But even all that can’t possibly keep up with the ballooning salaries.
The costs of producing those adult versions of schoolyard kid games are ever rising. Maybe it’s time for we uncomplaining sports fans to do something to help those oppressed billionaire sports club owners.
So, next time you pay $500 to watch a three-hour game, take a moment to stop by the owner’s box. Toss in another thousand bucks so he can afford a hot dog and soda at the refreshment stand.