This actually began with a Facebook post from a friend of mine a little while back. He wrote: “When you’re trying to bait teams as a wrong-side-of-30 years defensive player by telling them “none of you will have me again (will retire)” if they don’t give you a big enough deal (which he calls “fair salary” and currently earns about 11 million), i think it’s a little ridiculous. You have WAY more than a “fair” salary as it is. I’m looking at you Jared Allen. This business aspect of the NFL is getting out of control.”
I felt compelled to respond here. I know that it’s the popular opinion to bash the players, but they have more of a case than you may think. I started this counterpoint by stating that it’s only fair for Allen to want comparable money to DeMarcus Ware, another pass rusher with similar stats throughout their careers. But it was clear that my friend’s argument was with the market itself, not simply the player. Not sports, mind you, but entertainment in general. After all, athletic events at their base are just another form of entertainment (albeit a form of entertainment which invokes regional pride and competitiveness on many levels). Athletes play sports, and fans watch them play. Simple.
And there’s no doubting that the entertainment industry as a whole is inflated. Should athletes make more than members of the military, police, etc who actually put their lives in harm’s way to protect the peace and serve the country? No. Not at all, and you won’t ever hear me arguing that.