Campfire Blog

Thoughts on Resentment and Envy Directed at Athletes

Time to let it go 

So I was listening to WFAN New York today and one of the callers said that he can’t get behind the USA men’s basketball team because he doesn’t want to watch a “bunch of millionaires running up and down the court” crushing other countries.

That is one of the most idiotic comments I have ever heard. On multiple levels. First off, people need to stop begrudging the amount of money athletes make. Sure, they are not rocket scientists or surgeons and many of them are less than admirable but it’s not changing so just get over it.  They are millionaires because we live in a capitalist society run by supply and demand. If people didn’t want to watch them, they wouldn’t make so much. If more people could do what they do, they wouldn’t make so much. And the amount of revenue they make and jobs they provide is incredibly positive for the economy. Plus I’m thrilled I live in a country where people can afford to go to sporting events and pay for recreation, even if it results in irresponsible athletes making obscene amounts of money. Athletes living lavishly is certainly better than the alternative of empty stadiums and companies that can’t afford to pay for endorsements.

Secondly, I can’t stand when people complain about professional athletes competing in the Olympics. Would it really make sense to make the best swimmer of all time sit out because he makes money from endorsing Subway foot longs? Why even have a worldwide competition for title of best in the world if you aren’t sending the best in the world? Anyone who says they would rather watch amateurs is the type that thinks everyone should get a medal.

Thirdly, what’s wrong with crushing other teams in competition? This is the Olympics, right? It’s kind of a big deal, last I heard. No one is going to be apologizing for being great. Usain Bolt is not going to say ‘sorry for being awesome’ and neither should we.

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