Column by John Morris
Most people in the world dream of being the superstar athlete with their name in the lights and plenty of money to spare.
Some people may ask if athletes deserve all of this fame for just playing a sport.
It may look simple, but those who do this on a daily basis know it’s a little different.
No matter the sport, each one contributes to people’s lives depending on where they are.
In England, soccer is king, but for India, their primary sport is cricket.
Some people would say anyone can play a sport, but the amount of people who would commit their entire lives is very small.
Think about some of these multi-million dollar celebrities do nothing but show their face or debate casual topics.
I think a lot of us would say we could do that, but athletes put their bodies on the line every day to entertain the fans.
The athletes not only hold a responsibility for their performance on the field but they have a big responsibility off the field as well.
When athletes get into these high level positions in a sport they not only represent themselves but also their families, the sports culture and the brand associated with them.
They must live up to the standard set before them and set a new one for those who come after them.
Most of the attention we give the superstar athletes comes from things not always connected to their sport. The sport they play is more of a platform used to associate them with.
Athletes not only use their play on the field to promote their brand, but their faces as well. Every time we turn on the T.V., we see an athlete endorsing a product. Many of these people make more money from endorsements than they make on the field. Cleveland Cavalier forward LeBron James’ salary in 2014 earned him $20,644,400, but he made $53 million in endorsements the same year from companies like Nike, McDonald’s and Samsung.
Their images and likeness are used to inspire others or in some cases be a joke to some people, like the common person who always question what people can do. I’d like to see a lot of people in the world pose for ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue or get tackled by a 300-pound linebacker. It’s easy to say a person can do these things while they are sitting on their couch.
Sports bring a bit of peace with. Each sport, whenever it is played, is kind of like the world stops. Many athletes play for the love of the sport and fans watch for the love of the game, but it’s also for love of country. The entire country stops during the Olympics, and despite not everyone loving the game of soccer, the country rallies around Team USA.
A lot of these athletes’ work does more than just awe the common fan with an amazing hit, dunk, catch or goal.
So this makes one think: do the millions of dollars do the commercials and all the different things we see the athletes do, really seem that outrageous compared to what they all really do?
Though there are some athletes we see with the big contract and the fame. We really have to sit down and ask ourselves do they deserve that?
Some of the best athletes get little to none of that kind of attention.
Many of the things an athlete does for the world goes unnoticed, but one question remains. Do all athletes deserve what they get paid?