Justification of Athlete Salaries

Just read the following comment in a Yahoo article. It was a response to another comment that basically said it’s sad how much athletes make compared to teachers, cops, firemen, etc. and shows how out of whack our priorities as a country are.

Comparing the individual salaries of professional athletes or actors to teachers, firemen, cops, etc. is a meaningless exercise. There are 3.1 million public school teachers in this country, making an average of $36,000 per year. That’s $112 billion going to public school teachers. In comparison, NFL teams payout total salaries of approximately $3.2 billion, or approximately 2% of teacher salaries. MLB teams will payout approximately $4.1 billion in player salaries this season. Are 16 NFL games as important to each individual fan watching as 182 school days are to each individual student? No, but there are 80,000 fans at each game and millions more watching on TV. According to data from ESPN, an average NFL game is watched by 16.5 million people, so an NFL player is entertaining 264 million people over the course of a season. There are 106 rostered players for each of those games though, so that’s 2.49 million people entertained per player. At an average salary of $1.9 million, that’s $0.76 for each person entertained. NFL games run about 3 hours, so that’s $0.25 per hour of entertainment provided. If we assume teachers have an average of 30 students in their class, that’s 5,460 student days over the course of a school year. At an average salary of $36,000, that’s $6.59 per student day. School days are 6 hours though, so that’s $1.10 per student hour, or approximately 4.3x what an NFL player is paid. That seems like an appropriate premium on education.


Game of thrones cost 6m to “over 10m” per episoe to produce each hour long episode. Comparing this against the 25 minute mayweather vs mcgregor fight, which had revenues of 700m, if we doubled that to approximate the run time of game of thrones, wed get 1.4b. I dont feel that the entertainment derived from the mayweather vs mcgregor fight could be over 200x the entertainment derived from a game of thrones episode. Maybe I’m wrong for some other guys, I didnt actually watch the fight, I like MMA, but I’d rather have 200 episodes of shows comparable to game of thrones.

If people had a problem with money in sports or thought sports do not contribute enough to society, they wouldn’t buy tickets or pay for ESPN. How many teachers pay for sports viewing? Can’t they just not watch any sports? “But I need/want this”, they would say. I do not think further justification is needed.

I’m not sure why teachers specifically are singled out for this comparison. All kinds of workers provide crucial services and few are paid as generously as professional athletes.

your first issue was reading yahoo comments… that place is full of people that make stupid arguements for no reason. Every now and then I think I read a normal comment, then i realize i am reading it on yahoo and the person has to be mentally challenged enough to be posting/responding to comments on yahoo.

I like seeing how stupid people are.

EMTs and Paramedics make maybe $15/hr for a good ambulance company. They literally save lives every day. Sometimes multiple lives multiple times in a shift.

detailed analysis not necessary and presented analysis is data mining to the extreme.

any average person can be a teacher. further, most below average people can pretend to be smart enough or organized enough to be a teacher for basically their entire life.

nobody can be lebron and very few can play beside him. nobody can pretend being as good as lebron or his peers. simple as that.

how much would you pay to meet a teacher? $0.

how much would you pay to meet lebron? $100? $500?

supply and demand, you yahoo newbs.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Anybody can be a teacher. There are not many barriers to entry. Professional sports is entertainment with huge barriers to entry. Everybody wants to be a pro athlete but very few make it. If you don’t make it, you go and be a teacher.

What amazes me is teachers (or take another group say construction workers) continue to watch sports on TV and attend games and hence this drives athlete salaries. Pro sports could be shut down tomorrow if people decided not to watch on TV and not buy tickets. It is entertainment and people are willing to pay for it. The fans who are obsessed with their team (I am from X city therefore X city is my team and I must watch them at all costs and be able to tell people this is my team and I am a fan) feeds into this mentality and continues the discrepancy.

Yeah yeah im just waiting for the day illegal streaming becomes so mainstream (we’re almost there) that it becomes unprofitable for cable channels to pay exhorbitant TV deals which in turns cuts the salaries of these uneducated and uncouth cunts down to safety net levels.

^Never going to happen.

its already here holmes. we have hi-def streams with a 1-2 sec lag of the biggest sporting events available on sites indexed by google. This influx of money by the Arabs and Chinese (in football, the only sport that matters) is just a phase, it is inevitable that the only way is down.

A few favorite gifs I’ve seen.

bumping this for this video:


christian ronaldo salary