By Alexander Douglas |Community Editor|
Sport stars are making more money now than they ever have before in the history of sports.
When Major League Baseball (MLB) first started, the highest paid athlete was Ross Barnes who earned a salary of $2,000 per year.
Today, the minimum MLB salary is $535,000 per year, while the average salary is $4 million.
However, the highest paid player as of 2017 is Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kershaw signed a seven year contract in 2014 that gave him $33,000,000 in 2017.
William Hefellinger, considered to be the country’s first professional football player according to Pro Football Hall of Fame, was only paid $500 for one game.
The minimum salary in the National Football League for rookie players is $465,000, while a player with 10+ years of play can make $1,000,000. The average salary is $1.9 million.
The money they earned back then was not enough to sustain them so most players had to devote some of their time to other things that did not involve the sports in which they played in.
As players were paid more, they could devote to playing and practicing their sport.
Whereas in the early days of sports, most athletes could not spend weeks or months training almost every day, players today have the ability to due to dramatically increased salaries.
The average salary has increased 20,700 percent, or 2,832 percent after inflation, since 1968 during the first collective bargaining agreement according to Forbes.
The average salary in baseball has increased which is partly credited to free agency.
Because of free agency, players have more control over what team they are going to play for and have a better bargaining tool. Before this the players did not have this chance and were stuck with the team that chose them.
Players had to go through strikes, arguments and so much more just to get to that point and they have a reason to do so.
When they put so much time and effort into a sport, the owners of the teams make a tremendous amount of money.
For example, the Dallas Cowboys had a revenue of $700 million in 2016 whereas player expenses were only calculated at $190 million according to Forbes.
This is still a gap between what the team makes and what the individual players make.
The players do in fact make more than ever which can also be a problem, too.
If players are making hefty salaries, then the teams need to keep increasing revenue to keep up.
Another problem with increased salaries is that most players have short careers.
With the amount of injuries that the players sustain in their respective sports, they need the money to afford health insurance.
A force of 50 Gs is enough to to give someone brain damage and football players can get hit up to 200 Gs, according to braininjury.com.
This is just one type of injury that players can face which shows that players need more money to make sure they can get the medical care during and after their career.