Opinion: Professional athletes too often dictate terms

Opinion: Professional athletes too often dictate terms

Alex Mellion
Journal Staff

How would you like to get paid millions of dollars a year doing something that you love and something you’re naturally talented at?  Sounds like a pretty sweet job, right?  Well, for the average athlete in professional sports today, millions of dollars sometimes just isn’t good enough to stay with a team for more than a year or two.  The Randy Moss saga is just the latest in the common occurrence of athletes dictating what teams they are willing to play for, and thinking they’re better than everyone else.

Here are some average salaries for athletes in the four major sports: NFL players make an average of $770,000 per season, MLB players make an average of $3.3 million, NHL players make an average of $1.9 million, and NBA players make an average of $5.6 million. Financial stability for the rest of your life isn’t enough for some players, however, if they don’t like the city they play in.  Carmelo Anthony was recently offered a 3-year, $63 million dollar extension to keep playing for the Denver Nuggets. He turned that down and is now complaining about the team and wants to be traded as soon as possible. Hey Carmelo, I’m pretty sure all teams have a desire to win.  The idea of someone turning down a $20 million a year extension is simply ludicrous and goes to show you just how selfish today’s athletes have become.

Back in 2004, Eli Manning famously announced that he would not play for the San Diego Chargers if he was drafted by them No. 1 overall.  The Chargers did draft Manning, and subsequently traded him to the New York Giants for Phillip Rivers.

The fact that a player who hadn’t even played a down in the NFL was dictating where he would play is simply stunning.  While Manning has already produced a Super Bowl title for the Giants, his reputation took a permanent hit because of his diva-like attitude prior to entering the league.

The Randy Moss saga is a current example of an athlete thinking he is above everyone else and has the right to play where he wants to play.  Moss, who in the past admitted he performed with a lack of effort while with the Oakland Raiders, and has left the field before games he was playing in had concluded, was waived by the Vikings on Monday after basically stating in a press conference that he wanted to play for the Patriots again.

This shows that the Vikings are not willing to cater to any athlete that plays for them, and that nobody is above anyone else. Oh wait, nevermind, this is the same team that waited until August for Brett Favre, and then proceeded to coddle him and set the stage for him to return at the end of the preseason.

Athletes these days are too coddled by both the media and their coaches.  They are given too much say and are allowed to play half-heartedly in games or refuse to play for certain teams, despite being under contract with them.  People like Carmelo Anthony and Moss should consider themselves lucky that they are getting paid millions for playing sports that they love. Unfortunately, incidents like this continue to happen.

If fans like me are paying $50 to see them play, I expect to see them give 110 percent and try their hardest on the field or the court every night.