What About Excessive Athlete Compensation?
Sports Illustrated--For the fourth straight year, Sports Illustrated set out to rank the 50 top-earning American athletes (taking into account on and off the field income), and it's no surprise to see the familiar names at the top of the list (see chart above, click to enlarge). The most obvious? Tiger Woods has reached an otherworldly plateau of nearly $112 million. Boxing is back from the dead for now, thanks to No. 2 Oscar De La Hoya, and the Shaq and Kobe rivalry lives on.
Half the list is made up of NBA players, while only 12 baseball players and five football players made the cut. There were three NASCAR drivers and just one woman (welcome, Michelle Wie!)
NEW YORK (AP) - An Associated Press calculation shows that compensation for America's top CEOs has skyrocketed into the stratospheric heights of pro athletes and movie stars: Half make more than $8.3 million a year, and some make much, much more.
Comment: Average compensation in 2007 of the top 50 athletes was $23.4 million, and median salary was $19.4 million. Median salary for CEOs in 2007 was only $8.3m for the 386 companies in the AP study referenced above (obviously a larger sample than for the SI athlete list).
Question: Why is it that when CEO salaries "skyrocket into the stratospheric heights of pro athletes," CEO salaries are condemned as "excessive?" Where is the outrage about athletes' salaries? After all, athletes made the stratospheric salaries before the CEOs did, so shouldn't those salaries also be considered excessive?
Based on Google searches, apparently not: Search for "excessive CEO compensation" and you'll find more than 3,000 references. Search for "excessive athlete compensation," and you'll find 0.
Update 1: See previous CD post on "excessive celebrity pay."
Update 2: Google search for "overpaid athletes" = 12,600 hits. Google search for "overpaid CEOs" = 8,530 hits. Thanks to an anonymous commenter.