Brace yourself. Stunned disbelief and outrage are sure to follow the announcement that Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has agreed to a $100M+ deal. I can hear the misguided mumblings already:
‘How can someone get paid that much money to play a game?’
‘Our society’s values have gone astray. The average proctologist only makes $90,000 per year and this athlete makes ten times that per game. It’s a terrible injustice!’
Oh, shut up. High-voltage Vick is worth every penny of that $100 million, or at least he will be if he maintains his level of play. Vick is not a teacher or a policeman or a firefighter. If he was then he would be doing an extremely important job that society depends upon-and be shamefully underpaid for it. But he’s not. He’s a jock toiling in professional sports, an international enterprise that is as much an entertainment industry as film and music are. For some reason, however, athletes are unfairly criticized for their incomes. If Beyonce can rake in millions for her tunes and Jim Carrey can earn $20 million for a few weeks at the studio, why can’t Vick get paid too? He fills seats just like they do.
As long as grownups want to watch Vick play and kids want to wear his jersey, he deserves those monstrous paychecks.
Keep in mind, this money that Vick will be paid won’t appear out of thin air. It won’t be siphoned out of Atlanta’s budget for foster homes or the orphans’ dental plan. It will come out of the team owner’s pocket.
People who want to complain about somebody’s bloated income should start with the owners. They are the ones really cashing in, and they don’t even run the risk of decapitation by a linebacker.
Look at it this way, if a team owner agrees to give a player $100 million, you can be sure that he or she is making at least ten times that.