Opinion: How much is too much?

Skyler Chill is a sophomore organization communication major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Skyler Chill

Seventy-two million dollars. That seems like a large amount of money, right? What would you do with $72 million? Maybe buy a new house, or a new car? Well, this figure is how much Lebron James is worth, according to Forbes. In America, we pay our athletes a lot of money. How much is too much?

Over the years, the ever-growing amount of athletes in our country receive larger salaries. According to Forbes, other high-paid athletes include Peyton Manning ($145 million), Venus Williams ($60 million), Serena Williams ($100 million), and Michael Phelps ($45 million).

People all across the country argue that professional athletes are paid too much. With the median salary of a high school teacher in the U.S. currently at $55,927, according to salary.com, some people–including myself–agree that these are the true heroes that deserve the pay. I’m not saying I am against athletes making that much, but I think the system needs more of a balance. The teachers taught the athletes. The gym coach helped push them. The high school coaches believed in them. The policemen and women kept them safe. Yet, these are the individuals that make fractions of money compared to that of their products.  

However, I believe that these are athletes; they have a talent and a skill. They have practiced, sacrificed, paid their dues and worked hard. Compared to, let’s say, someone like Kim Kardashian who doesn’t do anything that requires a skill, I think athletes deserve what they earn. Maybe not as much, but I can assure you Lebron deserves his $72 million a lot more when compared to Kim’s $28 million. I can assume that James has invested a lot more time and effort into earing his millions compared to her. Do I think $72 million is extreme? Yes. Do I think we need more of a balance in all aspects of this country? Absolutely. However, I heard this argument over the weekend and decided to write about it. No one could ever come up with a solution to this problem that would make everyone happy. The athletes would be angry that their salaries got cut, and the rest of us would still think they still make too much.  

So what do we do? Thankfully, there are athletes out there — like Lebron — who believe in giving back to where he came from. He supports his high school, he donates to charities and he shows his fans that he cares where he came from. A prime example of this is coming back to the Cleveland Cavilers.

Regardless of how much you make, we need to stay humble and remember our roots. No matter the amount you acquire in your lifetime, we need to remember how blessed we were to go to high school, to receive an education, to have our loved ones always be there and to everyone else that made the dream come true. Reach out to those who believed in you. I can only imagine how much it would mean to them. Inspire others to do as you do. It only takes one.