English 102 Final Paper

English 102 Final Paper - 1 Sam Hanson English 102...

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Sam Hanson English 102 03/28/2011 Why do athlete's salaries continue to rise? We live in a country that is coming out of one of the worst economic recessions in our history, so wouldn't it be logical that we make more of an effort to spend our money more wisely? This seems to be the opposite of the mindset professional sports teams have in America as such and helped me develop my topic for critical inquiry. My research questions that I have developed are “Why are athletes salaries so much higher than any other occupation in America, especially in our recent time of recession? And in addition to that are these large salaries justifiable?” These are important issues to many groups of people, such as teachers, team owners, and economists. Many teachers argue that their profession is much more important to society than an athlete, and that salaries should not be as lopsided. Team owners are affected by this question, because the question itself is suggesting that they may be doing their job irresponsibly. Economists are affected, because I found when researching this they are the majority of academic sources, and are always trying to figure out who is doing what and why these salaries continue to rise, even in our time of recession. With all of these stakeholders, I feel that this is an important issue that I want to address. I want to investigate how people make sense of athletes being paid so much, as well as investigate the reasoning behind why they are like this, and by doing so I would like to formulate an understanding of how people make sense of the salary of our current professional athletes. 1
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Before I go into my various sources I feel it would be necessary to explain some of the background of this issue. In professional sports, up until the past couple decades, the issue of the athletes salary was a monosponial issue. Monopsony is defined by Webster's dictionary as, “an oligopoly (a market situation in which each of a few producers affects but does not control the market) limited to one buyer” When I say monopsony in regard to salaries I mean that players could only be owned by one team, with their only escape from their contract is being traded to another team. Today in professional sports, with the rise of free agency and players, after a certain number of years (depending on the length of their contract signed as a rookie) players have the right to test out their options with other teams as well as their own. There are four premier professional sports in America; which are the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Major League Baseball (MLB), and they have all abandoned the monopsony system at least once within the past 40 years, replacing it with free agency. The first two to depart that abandoned the system were the NBA and the MLB, which both switched views in the 1970s. Two decades later in the 1990s the NFL and NHL followed the previous two leagues and switched to free agency. The 10 years after the respective
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English 102 Final Paper - 1 Sam Hanson English 102...

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