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we all share the blame

America, there you go. You're doing it again.

Please stop the madness!

Every year around this time, when NBA owners start forking over truckloads of money to young men — mostly African-Americans — social media-types get all lathered up to profess how these guys are overpaid and don't deserve to make that kind of money.

You know what? I totally agree.

But it's not just the NBA players who are grossly overpaid. It's the NFL players, NHL, MLB, MSL, PGA, WBA, WWE, pro tennis, track and field, the WNBA.

Okay, my bad. The overwhelming majority of WNBA players are grossly underpaid, but you know what I'm saying.

Do you know how many really qualified teachers they could have in Memphis with the five-year, $153 million contract the Grizzlies are paying Mike Conley? About the same number they could have in Indianapolis with the six-year, $139 million the Colts are paying Andrew Luck.

Or about the same number of qualified teachers Detroit could have with the 10-year, $292 million contract the Tigers gave Miguel Cabrera.

But while everyone is picking on NBA players for cashing in big-time on a system that has run amok, did anyone bat an eye when Dustin Johnson won $1.8 million after capturing the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club? You do know Johnson was paid that insane amount of money for just four days of playing golf, don't you?

Please allow me to repeat that.

Four ... days ... of ... work ... to ... play ... golf.

Where was your outrage?

We always talk about how other countries have passed America in terms of education and the like. Well, if you paid teachers some of those same ridiculous contracts that you paid pro athletes, you can only imagine the number of bright and intellectual folks who would seek the teaching profession as a means to feed their families?

But we in America don't value education the way some other countries do. We say we do, but we don't.

If we did, you wouldn't pay teachers some of the insulting salaries they have to deal with on an annual basis. And they wouldn't have to be forced to fork over portions of their degradingly low salaries to look for deals at Wal-Mart, Target or the Dollar Tree, year after year after year, just to get some supplies to keep their classroom afloat.

But America, this is all your fault.

When Little Johnny could sport a crossover dribble and dart to the hole while leaving a defender wondering how he did that, your eyebrows raised and you took Little Johnny and his family out to dinner and picked up the tab. You wanted to be close friends at an early age, because you saw some big-time dollars coming down the road.

Oh, that kid next door who mastered science and math and could remember every book of the Bible by the age of 10, you never had time for him. You thought he was weird.

And the kid who could run real fast, turn the corner on an end-around play and fly into the end zone for a touchdown, that's the one you helped cheat on a test, or that's the one whose homework you did. And that's the one who, when he grew up, everyone picked up his tab in a nightclub or a restaurant.

And you know what, America? That's also the one whom YOU made irresponsible.

You even "loaned" him some money, which, you and I both know, he didn't have to pay back.

You should have made him do his own darn homework, study for his own darn test, pay for his own darn drinks and meals! You should have made him go to the bank and take out a loan — that he would have to pay back.

But you made him feel like society "owed" him something.

Now, guess what, America? He feels like society owes him something.

America, you even spend millions for parades for these players when their team wins some mythical world title.

I've never heard of a parade for a Teacher of the Year. But it's in the budget, right, America?

Yeah, right.

There's even a system in place where pro athletes get several million dollars just to wear a certain sneaker. Why, why, why?

I can promise you, if you build the best sneaker, that pro athlete is going to wear it.

But you didn't stop there. You even pay your mechanic way more money an hour to take care of your car than you pay your baby sitter to take care of your kid.

OMG!

You even pay absurd amounts of money when a pro athlete autographs a particular item, and stay in long lines to get a players' autograph. I've never heard of anyone asking a teacher for an autograph, and they're certainly not going to pay money for it.

Yes, you totally flipped the script. And now you want to blame NBA players for taking financial advantage of a system you helped create?

Don't blame NBA players or any pro athlete, when it's the owners — and the system that's in place — who are the ones giving them those eye-popping contracts. You're the ones helping subsidize those eye-popping contracts when you shell out the big bucks to attend the games and buy the merchandise, etc.

Your best bet is to stop complaining and start teaching your Little Johnny a crossover dribble.

But it's just too bad no one thinks as highly about teachers as they do about athletes, and no one pays them the big bucks that they pay the pro athletes. Maybe if they did, we would have more qualified teachers and perhaps our educational system, economy and quality of living would be better.

— Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TNS)

More on sports salaries ...

"Timofey Mozgov rode the bench for the Cavs last season. He is 29 and has averaged 6.9 points and five rebounds in his six-year NBA career. Last week, he signed a four-year, $64 million deal with the Lakers. Clearly, I should have spent my youth working on my mid-range jumper and boxing people out instead of taping baseball cards to the spokes of my bike."

Tom Jones, tbt* columnist

"Some perspective on the Lightning's big deal with Steven Stamkos: His annual average of $8.5 million is only slightly more than the Rays are paying first baseman James Loney this season — to play for the Mets."

Marc Topkin, tbt* columnist



Did you know? According to the Florida Department of Education's teacher salary data for 2015-16, the state average was $48,179.

we all share the blame 07/03/16 [Last modified: Sunday, July 3, 2016 7:45pm]
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