Financial Security in Sports

The other day I read a quote from a professional athlete that had just signed a contract. That previous sentence is actually contains a tautology, because if he was not playing professionally in one of the major sports leagues, there is no way I would have seen an article on him in the news. But no matter.

Anyway, he said something to the effect that he was glad to have signed the contract as doing so gave him financial security. Now this particular individual is not a rookie – he’s a veteran and making millions. Financial security? Really?

The minimum salary for a player in the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League is about $500,000. Half a million dollars.

A professional athlete that works for two years would make at least a million dollars, less say 5-10% for his agent. That puts them in the 1%. It would take over 18 years for the average Joe to make that kind of money.

I am sure a lot of professional athletes don’t even make it to play for two years at the rookies’ salary, and many that do make it don’t manage their money well. But it is clear that there is a huge gap between their definition of financial security and the definition most of the rest of us go by.