The Instigator
Edwardclark
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
NKJVPosttribulationist
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Professional athletes on the same team should be paid equal salaries to improve team performance

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2018 Category: Sports
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 605 times Debate No: 106792
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (0)

 

Edwardclark

Pro

Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, who, granted, is objectively a tremendous player, was paid about $35,000,000 in 2017 for playing in 27 games out of the season's 162 games, which comes out to about $1,300,000 per appearance.

In comparison, teammate Yasmani Grandal, a starting catcher (arguably one of the most physically demanding positions,) was paid about $5,500,000 in the same year for playing in 129 games, about $43,000 per appearance, and about a sixth of what his teammate made that year.

Logistically speaking, the major salary disparities throughout the lineup of any professional team can't possibly be good for individual morale, which ultimately affects the morale of the team and their outcome.

And it's not like that even the best catcher is likely to ever make anywhere near $1,300,000 per game anytime soon, or even $35,000,000 a year as a starting player. The highest paid catchers of 2017 were Buster Posey of the Giants, who was paid about $22,000,000, and Joe Mauer of the Twins, who is the highest paid catcher of all time, earning about $23,000,000 in 2017-still about 35% less than the highest paid player, Kershaw. So having the opportunity to make more by improving performance is not an option, and thus seemingly unfair as their is no opportunity.

Obviously everyone here is making obscene amounts of money, however that's not necessarily relevant in an environment where that is the norm. And the point of this debate is not about feeling sorry for privileged multi-millionaire athletes, but about what is fair, and what is most effective for a team's success.

Certainly the initial high of making even a base salary of about a half a million dollars in MLB must be pretty exhilarating for any new player, however, eventually it's going to pass and they'll begin to wonder why a teammate, who is apparently an equal, on the same mission, is being paid 536% more than them for arguably doing less work, (playing only about 20% of the number of games) and having a less significant impact on the team's fate for that season.

Statistically, a player who plays in five times as many games is going to have a greater impact on the season than a player playing 27 games.

So, in conclusion, paying every player on the team the same salary, or at the very least, an approximately similar salary, is going to improve morale for the individual and consequently the team, which is paramount for any team's success.
NKJVPosttribulationist

Con

Workers should be paid baed on performance, not affilliation with a company, , biological sex, and so on. Saying otherwise is pure socialism, and while I am a Berniecrat, I revile pure socialism for being too far left.
Debate Round No. 1
Edwardclark

Pro

"Workers should be paid baed on performance, not affiliation with a company"

How do you reasonably quantify performance? Performance always takes place within the context of the team, and the two cannot be separated in order to be fairly quantified, thereby making individual statistics rather meaningless.

A true team relies heavily on one another, and it would be arbitrary to try to quantify their individual contribution/performance, particularly without factoring the dynamics of the team.

Each teammate serves a vital and specific purpose that cannot be removed from the system. Every teammate is vital or they wouldn't be there. They are there, in theory, to accomplish one goal. to win for the team. This is collectivism.

In the given example. even if you think you can quantify performance and pay accordingly, one player is getting paid exponentially more for doing less work than others. Just considering the factor of playing time alone, you could make the argument that one is contributing more, and it wouldn't be the guy making the most money, yet that would still be difficult to prove.

Currently, teams mostly just sink a ton on money into one player to create a star who they can prop up and exploit for profit, even if they're not that great or substantially better than the average player. This is helpful for a company's revenue as individualism in team sports is unduly popular, but I would argue that it's ultimately harmful to a team's cohesion and consequently a team's winning percentage, championship potential, and existence.

Sports TEAMS ARE COLLECTIVES! Or should be if success/winning is a priority. Otherwise it's just a collection of individuals who only have their own personal interests in mind, which consequently nearly eliminates the idea of the team itself. It becomes a spectacle of individual statistics, statistics which are unfairly attributed to one person, despite it being a team effort. Large wage disparities will disrupt the team cohesion, and will likely fail to produce the desired collective results, which is the ultimate goal, and the desire of the fans who support that collective.

When a guy like Kershaw plays one game a week and still gets the million dollars per game, even if he looses, and a guy who makes a fraction of his salary and puts in more work, resentment and frustration will build just as a result of the salary disparity, and team cohesion will suffer.

However, you also can't fairly compare the importance of the personal statistics of a starting pitcher, for example, who plays 20-30 games versus a catcher who plays 120 games or more. Their utilities are completely different, which is why there is a team in the first place. Each utility, in theory, is equally important.

Humans are not immune to averse feelings that wage disparities cause, particularly not athletes who have already had their egos inflated from a young age. The fact that they work and live amongst each other in relatively close quarters for 8 months of the year must only exacerbate such feelings, as the hierarchy is more noticeable and thus more palpable. The current individualistic model doesn't represent a team. It's just an exposition of individuals who are competing against other individuals, rather than other teams. Their own statistics will inevitably come before the team's statistics for their own self-preservation, longevity and worth, and thus the team does not work together in the way it should. If the value of every player is considered equal by each participant, then you will have the perfect team.

None of this is really the fault of the player, it's the oversight of the owners who create bad work environments for the sake of their own profit. We see individual players more than we see teams, and this is why teams lose. The system is broken. Players are passed around much too freely, and favorites are chosen by the executives in well choreographed stunts which break down the "team" by promoting individual players. Sports teams are self destructing by placing so much emphasis on individuals rather than the team itself. This hurts the cohesion of the team. And team cohesion is everything in attaining success.

Other factors such as geographical residence (as geography is what ultimately binds people to their favorite team) are also important, however, money and the subsequent hierarchy that it creates, will always be the biggest factor when considering success and failure.
NKJVPosttribulationist

Con

Ability to play the game, have a good work ethic. This is really about work ethic, not just a paycheck. How would you feel if you busted your bottom to earn that money and position, and some lazy do not as much got equal pay?
Debate Round No. 2
Edwardclark

Pro

First, "lazy" athletes don"t make it to the professionals. Ever! Their life is the sport, and there"s room for little else. They"ve likely done little else in their entire adolescent and adult life aside from the sport. There simply is no place for laziness in professional sports, and it doesn"t exist. If ANYONE is going to be lazy, even for the day, it"s the guy making an exponentially greater amount of money who"s already set for life and doesn"t NEED to win that one game to maintain his reputation. So we can fairly discard that argument. Even adequate players work their asses off to get and stay where they are in professional sports.

Second, the inevitable egalitarianism that would follow would make a much tighter unit on and off the playing field. The "lazy" guy who"s maybe not as good as the guy volunteering to make less money because he wants to be on a cohesive, winning team, will likely work harder out of respect and admiration for that guy who"s taking an ethical position and trying to create genuine camaraderie which will lead to a close-knit team that produces wins and championships.
NKJVPosttribulationist

Con

Athletes are spoiled, and have no idea what real work is. They are not doing anything important. If I were not disabled, I would be a lawyer. You have no idea to watch otherwise useful humans waste their talents on a God damn ball.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Nd2400 6 months ago
Nd2400
I just don't think don't think it would work. Even for a experiment; player who do way more for the team wouldn't like the idea of getting paid the same.

Why you have the voting last for 6 months? Kinda of long don't you think?
Posted by Edwardclark 6 months ago
Edwardclark
You raise a fair point, and I think in order for this to work, the highest paid player, or two, would have to be the ones who voluntarily make the call to divide their salary for the sake of morale and egalitarianism amongst the team, if not just for the sake of the experiment itself.

Lebron James and Kevin Love, for example, would have to make the call to divide their salaries. If they gave a few extra million from their salaries to the rest of the roster to make all of the salaries even, the'd immediately be paid back from endorsements and become the world's favorite players for a long time.

But it would only take one or two people to figure out the potential virtue and consequence of such a move, even if it was only for a season. I personally would enjoy watching that experiment, and I think A LOT of others would as well. It would generate a lot of buzz and money, and I think ultimately it WOULD help the team morale.

It would be a remarkable, unprecedented gesture of gratitude and equality, and the subsequent notoriety and popularity it would bring them, even if it was secretly a calculated, "selfish" move that they suspected would pay off. With the growing politicization trend of sports and its players, it seems inevitable that it will happen soon.
Posted by Nd2400 6 months ago
Nd2400
I know you wasnt being jealous that question was for your opponent. Anyways your system wouldn't work either. You think the star player would like the idea of another player who doesn't even play in the game itself, get the same amount of money. You don't think it would create tensions, nor create problem for the teams. You think if a player like LeBron james should get paid the same amount of someone who doesn't even enter a game? This wouldn't be fair to LeBron. Because he is by far the best player on his team nevermind the league...
Posted by Edwardclark 6 months ago
Edwardclark
I have no problem with people playing sports. I'm an athlete myself, so it's always been a huge part of my life. And of course I'm jealous of anyone making millions of dollars a year to play sports. It's a dream job. However, I don't have a personal vendetta against those who were better than me and became more successful. I'm proud of them for making it. I simply think this idea would be a better formula for success, and also a respectful gesture to the sport itself, which have all been tarnished by money and ego.
Posted by Zombieguy835 6 months ago
Zombieguy835
so... Sidney Crosby and Raffi Torrese (before he retired) should be paid the same if they were same team!? money in sports is based of how good they are! not they're on the same team!
Posted by Nd2400 6 months ago
Nd2400
I guess i probably should had accept Edwardclark. Would had give you more of a challenge..

NKJVPosttribulationist, what is your problem with people playing sports? You jealous or something? Playing sports can do alot of good. It nit wasting time like think it is....
Posted by Nd2400 6 months ago
Nd2400
"This model only works for so long if you don't produce wins and championships" nit necessary true. The Chicago Cubs had 106 years of losing and yet still very profitable. Teams have to wait a long time before, they start winning and even winning doesn't mean they win championship. Like for example the Los Angeles Dodgers haven't won in over 30 years now and made the playoffs 5 straight years but yet no championship, and yet they been having the largest attendance for years. Their are a lot of teams not winning or have no chance of winning but yet still very profitable. So teams need starts to keep the fan base coming. Yes winning does help, but having a superstar help as well.

You want every player to get paid the same, just wouldn't work. It sound nice, but it wouldn't work, nor fair for the better athlete. They get paid more because there are the better athlete. A player being on the bench for the whole season and get paid the same as the star just not fair.
Posted by Edwardclark 6 months ago
Edwardclark
I understand all of that, and I agree. That is the model which has been profitable for at least 100 years--for the successful teams or the teams with a niche market. Hundreds of professional teams have come and gone. They all have had their star player, but attendance rates almost always drop without wins, and that's when teams die. This model only works for so long if you don't produce wins and championships, and what better way to possibly produce wins then by eliminating the hierarchy of the team. It's an extra barrier that isn't needed. It would reduce or eliminate the inherent jealousy, resentment, and divisiveness which comes with large salary disparities. It could provide greater opportunity for greater cohesiveness for the team. It would be an interesting experiment, at the very least, if done on a large scale, where you'd have some players choosing to make less money for the virtue of the team spirit, which is very important for winning.
Posted by Nd2400 6 months ago
Nd2400
Think of it like this the star athletes will sell more of their own Jerseys and sell more tickets because people want to watch the star athletes not the no names that people never heard of. The star athletes sell merchandise, and the average athletes don't. Even if your team is bad people will paid money for the star athletes.
Posted by Edwardclark 6 months ago
Edwardclark
I agree that some players are better than others and therefore more valuable. I think that goes without saying. However, does it make them more deserving, ethically, considering they're part of a collective, representing/entertaining a collective (the fans) ? Everyone is supposed to be equal in a collective/team for it to work. If the hierarchies within the team/collective were removed with the end of large wage disparities, it likely would improve morale and create a more cohesive team, and thus more likely a better, more successful team.
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