?Over-Paid, Yet Under Rated
Growing up in America, many people are unaware of what is really occurring around them. People are so into their televisions, and their jobs that they fail to recognize the amount of work that is put into making this country as wonderful as it is. However, many people complain about the wages they receive hourly at work, or the salary they earn every month. Some complain that it is too low, and others complain about the taxes that are deducted, and how they do not have money to spend for occasions like Christmas, or even vacations. Then those same people sit at home, watch television, whether it is a basketball game, a game show, or even a soap opera, and complain about why those actors, athletes, and entertainers earn so much money, when they do not do as much as doctors, and teachers do. They complain about soccer players that are paid more monthly than doctors do yearly. They complain about singers that are paid for lip singing on stage, fooling many people. Even with their complaints, they sit down and watch the football game, watch the concert, and support actors, entertainers, and athletes. Why should those actors, entertainers, and athletes be paid that much money when they do not shape our future like teachers do, or save lives like doctors do? Unfortunately, for those people who complain, it is because of people like that, which cause people like Britney Spears, and Shaquille O’Neal to have more money than some people can count. It certainly is not fair that famous people such as Shaquille O’Neal, and Britney Spears earn so much money, but people cannot complain about it not being fair because unfortunately America is a very entertainment filled country, and almost everyone in the country has a favorite singer, band, athlete, team, or sport that they support, by either purchasing clothing, albums, tickets to the games or concerts, which makes the famous person earn that high amount of money.
The music industry is a very large industry in America, and it seems to be growing larger and larger year by year. A person may not have to go through four years of college to be able to sing a song, but either way they must work to earn what they do. An example of that would be the famous rapper Eminem. While growing up, Eminem had to work to support his mother because his father had left them. Music was his way of expressing his feelings, and he felt that if he tried hard enough he would be able to become famous one day, and because he believed in that, he worked hard to be something big. Eventually he earned enough respect to make it with all the other famous rappers. It took many years of reading, to achieve his level of vocabulary, but he stuck through it, and eventually made it big. Many young people look up to Eminem because of the hardships he went through to make it big. He may not be teaching children how to add and subtract, or how to read and write, but instead he is teaching them a lesson they can use in life. The lesson he is teaching them is that no matter how hard ones life can be they must find something they enjoy and pursue it until they can make something of their lives. “Eminem landed at Number Five with estimated net earnings of $28.9 million. The rapper’s earnings came from touring, his highly successful The Eminem Show album, his Shady Records label–which released the quadruple-platinum 8 Mile soundtrack–and the $3 million he earned for starring in 8 Mile” (Salomon). Many people went out and purchased his album, tickets to see the movie, or even tickets to one of his shows while he was on tour. Eminem did not save lives or teach children how to do math, to earn the money. Instead, those people who complain about people in Eminem’s status having too much money chose to spend it on watching the movie, or purchasing the album. Eminem certainly cannot be blamed because of all the fans he has. Eminem did not wake up one day and simply make the whole album. It took many long and tiring hours, days, and even months in the studio to complete the album. Same with the movie, they did not put the movie together in a day or two. It took months of sleepless nights, and gruesome days at work to complete the movie, but he worked hard to do what he wanted. In return, he earned three million dollars for doing the movie. The firefighters that fought fires during the California wild fires did more dangerous, and harder work than Eminem, but Eminem still earned more money from that movie than those fire fighters will in ten years. Opening weekend of the film collected about 54.5 million dollars (Lawson). Eminem received three million out of all the money the movie made. A person cannot blame Eminem for making nearly 35 million in one year. They should blame the people who support him and many other singers and entertainers.
Another “unfair” issue is the amount of money athletes make. One athlete in particular is David Beckham. He is one of the most famous soccer players in the world today. He must train every day to stay in shape to be able to continue his excellent skills. That is what his salary is based on; how well he plays, and whether or not he is in the same great shape. “His annual salary is $6.7 million and he reportedly makes more than $20 million per year in endorsement income” (Rovell). The point here is not the 6.7 million dollars, it is the 20 million dollars he makes from endorsements. This just means that the company he is with is very proud of him, and feels he makes a good idol for young people, and soccer. He should not be blamed for that, he is merely a regular person who not only is talented with soccer, but also has a wonderful attitude that people would pay for to have on their team. The same goes with athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal, and Michael Jordan. They are idols that all young children look up to. These people work day in and day out, even in the “off season.” The off-season is barely a few months off from a full season of games that go on almost every other day. Some times there is no off-season. For example, if an NBA championship team wins, they only have a few weeks to get rest, and head back to training camp. Out of a whole year of games, the athlete gets about two weeks of rest. An athlete will work about 35 to 40 years, but his career will only last seven to 12 of those years (Reinhold). These people abuse their bodies, and that is why most retire before they reach the age of forty. Their bodies have been worked too much to continue, and they need to rest their bodies. They work hard to get where they are at their careers. Just like the way doctors study, athletes spend many years training to be the best they can be in order to compete against the rest of the players in the league. The draft is a lot like the MCAT that doctors take to become a doctor. The smarter doctor is like the better athlete. The doctor would pass the test, and the athlete would be drafted into a team. The main difference is the amount of money they earn once they have both passed the “test.”
When people complain about why athletes earn so much money there is a simple explanation. An athlete should not be compared to a doctor. An athlete should be compared to medicine in a pharmacy. If an athlete is rare, the price is worth more because it is harder to find and the demand is higher. Shaquille O’Neal is a wonderful example of that. He is a basketball player, and was named one of the 50 greatest basketball players of all time. With a title like that, many teams want a player like that. And many cities want a player like that representing their home city. The owner’s of the basketball teams are willing to pay the athletes hundreds of millions dollars just to have them on the court simply because they know there will be many fans of the athlete at every game, which constitutes more money. They are willing because in the Los Angeles Lakers case, they have many actors and actresses show up to the game such as Jack Nicholson at courtside. Besides the actors, there are many children and young athletes that go out and purchase shoes, jerseys and other clothing of the athlete to show off to friends, and act like the athlete. The National Basketball Association (NBA) is not a no-ruled game. It has strict rules about conduct, and uniforms. The athlete must control his temper because he is being shown around the country and would disgrace the league, and would have an influence on younger children to act like that. So when a player misbehaves, or violates a rule, they either get fined, and/or suspended from games. As many people complain about athletes earning more money than they should and returning nothing back to the city, state, or even country they often dismiss the obvious fact that their children are going to grow up to want to act like Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Mark McGuire, and Wayne Gretzky. The mentioned athletes are all superstars from different sports, which is watched by all ages from young eight year olds to people in their 80’s.
The age and gender of people who watch sports compared to those who need a specific doctor are very different. Anyone of any age can watch any sport they want. On the other hand, there are specific doctors for certain types of people. For example, it would not make sense if a person with a heart problem would go to a gynecologist to be checked out. It also would not make sense for someone to travel from the east coast all the way to the west coast to visit a doctor. However, with sports, and entertainment, it is possible. These people have worked hard their whole lives to reach the national level. Anyone can tune into their television and watch a sport, some kind of performance, or even a movie. These entertainers have sleepless nights because they stay up to shoot a part of a movie, or finish an album, or even fly to a different city to play a different team the next day. They perform their best while they are working, to give the viewers at home something to be happy about. Whether it is the viewers’ favorite team in the championship, or the viewers’ favorite singer on television, the viewer can sit back and have fun watching television after a hard day of school or work. It brings rest to someone, when they can come home sit back on the couch, and watch their favorite team in action. Those players are on the job, but are being taped every second while on the job; they have no room to make mistakes. Their responsibility is much more than other peoples. If Britney Spears makes a mistake while performing on stage, it will ruin that part of the show. In order to prevent mistakes she must practice all day to make the performance look smooth, and perfect because she wants to give the audience a wonderful show. She cannot afford to do a sloppy job just to get it over with. In order to keep her audience, she must consistently do a wonderful performance. Even Britney Spears must work, not only to keep her audience, but also to keep her self in shape. A main reason many adore her is because of her sex appeal. Young girls want to grow up to have her body, hair, and style, and the males are physically attracted to her, wish that all their girlfriends would be as pretty as her. If Britney were to stop working out to keep her self in shape, she would lose many fans, from both males and females. Basketball also has both male and female athletes, and fans. To have fans idolize one individual and try to copy each and every move, and comment they make, is a very big responsibility for anyone. The responsibility must come in a package with all the money and fame.
The thing that most probably annoys many of the people who complain about the earnings of famous people is that the famous people enjoy what they do. There are people who enjoy being doctors and examining people, and there are people who enjoy defending people in a courtroom, but anyone and almost everyone would have fun playing a sport, singing a song, or performing on stage, for money. An example would be Kobe Bryant. He was recently arrested for sexual harassment of a 19-year old girl. Playing in the NBA and going to Colorado for court interfere with each other. In a situation like that Kobe stated that, “‘I’m the most comfortable at home. But I have a job to do and I love playing basketball. So I’ll come out here and give it my best effort.'”(Wilson). Kobe does not look at basketball as something he does on the side. This is his job, and he gets paid for what he does, and depending on how he performs throughout the season, it will determine whether the team would offer him more money. Just like any employee they must prove to the boss that they are worthy enough for a raise. The only way to prevent these famous people and athletes from earning so much money is by not paying money in anyway to support them. If Shaquille O’Neal did not have as many fans as he does, he would not be worth 18.2 million dollars a year. These people work hard to be where they are at, and it would be unfair to them if all of a sudden people began to boycott them just to force them to earn less money. As long as there are sports, and entertainment, and people to watch and enjoy the entertainment there is nothing that will stop the famous people from making as much money.
The highest paid doctors in 1997 were cardiovascular surgeons. The median compensation was roughly $545,000 (American College of Physicians). The least amount an NBA athlete earns is near $367,000 annually (NBA.com). It is unfair for a person to study seven to ten years to become a doctor and make half a million if he became a cardiovascular surgeon, and for someone who has the height, and skill to play basketball to come into the league earning more in his first year than most doctors ever will in one year. It is simply because there are not too many athletes that can make it to the NBA. There are many people who can read and become doctors but not many people can grow six to seven inches to be able to slam-dunk a basketball, or guard Kobe Bryant. The amount of time it takes to be a doctor should be rewarded with much more money than it is, but apparently being a famous athlete is worth much more than saving lives to many people in the country.
In conclusion, athletes and entertainers may not be the future of our country, but they work hard to lead the youth of America the right way because of the way the youth of America idolizes certain individuals. Those certain individuals should not be blamed for the money they earn; the people that should be blamed are the people who support these famous athletes and entertainers by purchasing apparel, albums, or tickets to shows. They simply add fuel to the fire, by giving more money to watch Shaquille O’neal courtside, or Britney Spears perform live on stage. Without such a big industry, the lives of many would be dull and stressful. There would be nothing to watch at nights, no concerts to go to, and nothing to look forward to, for example the Superbowl, or the NBA playoffs. All the funding for that must be cut off, so the people who complain will stop complaining about how those famous people get money, but will then begin to complain about why there are no good shows, or sports, or movies to watch on television any longer. There will always be complaints, but those who complain should be aware that they are the ones that cause those actors, actress, athletes, and entertainers to have the amount of money that they do.
Lawson, Terry. “‘8 Mile’ Strikes Gold at Opening.” Detroit Free Press 11 Nov. 2002. 24 Nov. 2003. .
Reinhold, Eric J. “A Game Plan for Working with Professional Athletes.” Journal of Financial Planning. Jun. 2000. 26 Nov. 2003. .
Rovell, Darren. Official: Beckham Not Nearing Lifetime Adidas Deal. 11 Aug. 2003. 25 Nov. 2003. .
Salary Cap for 2003-04 Season set at $43.84 Million. 15 Jul. 2003. 24 Nov. 2003. .
Salomon, Yves Erwin. “Eminem, Mariah Carey & Jay-Z Make Top 10 of Rocks 50 Richest 2003′ List.” Launch Music on Yahoo. 18 Mar. 2003. 25 Nov. 2003. .
Specialists, not Generalists, Taking Home More Pay. American College of Physicians. 25 Nov. 2003. .
Wilson, Bernie. “Bryant: Terrified’ for case’s effect on family.” USA Today. 4 Oct. 2003. 25 Nov. 2003. .