Monday, March 14, 2005
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons suggests salaries of professional athletes should not be disclosed to the public.
Among the arguments he makes against the release of salary figures are:
- It's unfair to the athletes.
- It takes focus away from a discussion of the game itself.
To the first, I say, "boo-hoo." I'm not one to trash athletes for the money they make. But I'm also not going to feel sorry for them when they undergo public scrutiny for what they make either. I know this is probably the exact kind of sentiment Simmons is trying to combat. But if players can make all that money playing a game, I really don't see any reason they can't take some heat when things aren't exactly going their way.
To the second point, I don't think it's exactly true that salary talk dominates sports talk. Player salaries become an issue when players don't play well. If Jalen Rose scores a basket to win a game, or Sundin scores five goals to win a playoff series, nobody is going to remember anything about how overpaid anyone is.
Besides, I don't know how a ban on salary disclosure would work. The public knows they get paid a lot anyhow. Whispers would spread about the actual numbers. They're probably a too common part of the sports world to get rid of. And how could you have a decent labour dispute without salary figures being a part of the fray?
I say let things be. Millionaires who play well don't have any problems to begin with, do they? Even millionaires who don't play well will somehow survive, I would imagine.