Sport is one of the things that enjoy worldwide popularity. It is a vital sector of worldwide economic activity and traverses marketing and advertising, sports events organization, creation and maintenance of athletic venues, trade and sale of athletic products, R&D, medical rehabilitation and treatment, and sports tourism. Professional sport, as Stoian (n.p.) insists, has become a money-spinning business with several opportunities for the success of sports marketing. Indeed, the professional sports industry has witnessed substantial growth in recent years. Professional athletes certainly get significantly more than the average American when it comes to remuneration (Schiavone). For instance, the average pay for a Major League Baseball athlete in 2014 reached 3.3 million USD, but that paled compared with the 5.5 million USD average pay paid by the National Basket Association (Davies). Professional football lingered behind at an average salary of 2 million USD, albeit top quarterbacks commanded earnings above 20 million USD (Davies). The top professional athletes’ high compensation has remained controversial over the years. Some argue that these sportspersons are paid too much money. The position of this paper is that athletes deserve high compensation.

In particular, top professional athletes deserve high compensation because of the nature of their careers. Professional sport, as a career, is associated with health risks, particularly injuries. Professional sportspersons face the risk of injury each time they step onto the field or court. In professional sports, career-ending injuries are constantly a risk due to the physical demands that several sports require (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Indeed, an athlete is put at risk of replacement by even minor injuries. Professional athletes break legs, tear anterior cruciate ligaments, break and fracture ankles, and even experience lifelong problems because of playing. Injuries have over the years forced some athletes to end their brilliant careers. For instance, an injury that Gale Sayers, a former National Football League running back between 1965 and 1971, suffered in 1970 on his left knee ended his bright career. Another professional athlete whose career was ended by injuries is Brandon Roy. Knee injuries ended Roy’s brilliant career for good in 2012. The health risks that professional athletes face in their careers explain why they deserve high compensation. As per Hilpirt et al., a large number of sports aficionados believe that, in general, professional athletes are paid too much money and not worth their huge salaries. However, these authors insist that maximizing remuneration for the professional sportsperson is vital given the health risks and short careers linked to professional sports. Thus, it is the right of these sportspersons to get high compensation.

Additionally, top professional athletes deserve high compensation because they sacrifice a lot. As Pawson confirms, these sportspersons are paid exactly what they deserve in that they sacrifice more and work harder than individuals think. Apart from sacrificing their health, these sportspersons also sacrifice other crucial aspects of their lives, especially quality time with their loved ones. Those who oppose the high compensation offered to professional athletes think that these sportspersons only work during the sports seasons. According to them, athletes spend the millions of dollars they get on parties and vacations during the offseason. However, this is further from the truth. Professional athletes engage in increasingly intensive training and utilize increasingly sophisticated sports apparatus, which explains why sports have become big business (Beck and Bosshart). As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics emphasizes, sports competitors and athletes work irregular schedules, including holidays, weekends, and evenings and usually work over forty hours every week for numerous months during the sports season as they compete, travel, train, and practice. During the offseason, these athletes spend lots of time exercising/training. Undeniably, they train the whole year and strain their bodies a lot. They risk losing their jobs if they do not stay in shape. Consequently, professional athletes deserve huge compensation. The sacrifices that these athletes make and the hours they spend competing, traveling, training, and practicing explain why they deserve the bonuses and earnings in the tens of millions of dollars they get every year.

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Furthermore, top professional athletes deserve the high compensation they get because they help sports teams to remain profitable. As a lucrative business, professional sport is now sold to four different groups, including companies and clubs (that provide sponsorships), local communities (that support clubs and provide the needed facilities), media companies (that purchase rights to broadcast matches), and fans (who support leagues by watching matches either on television or at the stadium) (Stoian). Sports teams prefer signing professional athletes because these athletes are the teams’ faces and sell more tickets for these teams. Professional athletes help sports teams to make, maintain, and increase their profitability. These sportspersons also help business organizations that sponsor them to make, maintain, and increase their profitability. Business organizations use them in their marketing and advertising campaigns. Thus, professional athletes deserve tens of millions of dollars they get each year. Indeed, these sportspersons work for their high salaries.

In conclusion, top professional athletes deserve the millions of dollars they are paid every year because of the health risks and short careers associated with professional sports, they make lots of sacrifices and work harder, and are the reason why professional sport, as a business, is lucrative. They are worth their high compensation as professionals who play a significant role in the economy and society.

 Works Cited

Beck, Daniel, and Louis Bosshart. “12. Sports, media, and economy.” Communication Research Trends, vol. 22, no. 4, winter 2003, pp. 22+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

Davies, Richard O. “Play for Pay: Professional Sports and American Culture.” The Routledge History of American Sport, edited by Linda J. Borish, et al., Routledge, 1st edition, 2017. Credo Reference, Accessed 05 Apr. 2022.

Hilpirt, Rod, et al. “Show me the money! A cross-sport comparative study of compensation for independent contractor professional athletes.” The Sport Journal, vol. 10, no. 4, fall 2007. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

Pawson, C. “Professional Athletes Earn What they Deserve.” UWIRE Text, 5 Aug. 2014, p. 1. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

Schiavone, Michael. “Strikes by Professional Athletes.” The Encyclopedia of Strikes in American History, edited by Aaron Brenner, et al., Routledge, 1st edition, 2009. Credo Reference, Accessed 05 Apr. 2022.

Stoian, Remus Florin. “Importance of marketing sports performance in the development of sport.” Ovidius University Annals, Series Physical Education and Sport/Science, Movement and Health, vol. 17, no. 2, 15 June 2017, pp. 504+. Gale Academic OneFile, Accessed 5 Apr. 2022.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Athletes and Sports Competitors.” Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 1st edition, 2018. Credo Reference, Accessed 05 Apr. 2022.