There’s no question that professional athletes are paid too much. In 2018, the average annual salary for an M.L.B. player was $4.1 million. Mike Trout, a centerfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, gets $35.8 million a year. In the N.B.A., the average annual salary was $7.1 million. In the N.F.L., the average was “only” $2.7 million, but one of football’s highest-paid players, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, just signed a four-year contract for $134 million.
Compare those wages with the national average salary for a firefighter: about $45,000 a year. It’s about $56,000 for a schoolteacher and nearly $74,000 for an emergency room nurse.
Does it make any sense that someone who throws a football for a living is paid more than 700 times as much as someone who helps save people’s lives, or that swinging a bat gets you nearly 650 times as much as educating kids? In my opinion, no.