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Reactions: SI's Fortunate 50

Grant Hill makes how much? No, that's not a typo

Posted: Friday May 14, 2004 4:04PM; Updated: Friday May 14, 2004 4:56PM

In this week's issue, Sports Illustrated ranked the top 50 American athletes based on current annual income. Here are some of your responses:

It is capitalism at its finest. If somebody is willing to pay them the salaries and endorsements then they have the right to accept them. Are actors worth $25 million per film, $1-3 million per episode? Are CEOs worth what they are paying themselves? Until the fans unite and quit going to sporting events, their salaries will only go one way.
 -- Andy Driggers, Fort Worth, Texas


Absolutely NOT. Athletes do not do anything that garners that type of money. I love sports and am an athlete (non-professional) as well, but if anyone in this world deserves that type of money, it would be classroom teachers, policemen, nurses, firefighters, EMT's, etc, etc. No way should athletes, or anyone in the entertainment profession, be earning that type of money.
 -- Vince, Crofton, Md.

Bizarre! If you're going to list the people who make the most money in sports, why are there no team owners on the list? Sports is a cash cow for more than just the athletes; why aren't you asking if the others are worth the money they're making?
 -- Mark Wentz, Rochester, Minn.

Michael Jordan was underpaid for what he brought to the economy and I believe a young man named LeBron James is in the same boat. He should definitely get a raise and be No. 1 on the list.
 -- Chris Dyke, Cleveland

I am a humongous sports fan, and I appreciate what they do. They are good at what they do. Well, I and my other brother/sisters at arms are good at what we do also. I am a 13-year vet of the U.S. Air force and I have supervised troops who have had to utilize the welfare system to make ends meet. That's a sad but true statement. We make it possible for these athletes to play safe and sound in a free environment. Do I think the military member deserves a million dollar contract? No I don't, but I sure believe our members should be compensated a lot more for the countless sacrifices we make day in and day out.
 -- Sgt Derrick Spriggs, USAF, Baltimore

Is there any reason why SI decided not to include non-U.S. athletes in this survey? Sure, Shaq makes a lot of money, but he is nowhere near the earnings of Michael Schumacher, who makes $30 million alone in his salary, not to mention his endorsements and bonuses from Ferrari. Was it easier to find the earnings of American athletes over non-Americans or is SI just getting lazy?
 -- Jason Robinson, West Chester, Pa.

No man who plays a game should make this money. Give it to our teachers, policeman, and fireman ... they are the real heroes.
 -- Willy ST. Juste, Tampa

As a middle school teacher, I see the disparity in salaries between myself and the likes of those known for shooting, striking, swatting, or hitting a ball. However I also understand supply and demand. Only a minute percentage of human beings can do what these athletes can do. The public will pay exorbitant amounts of money to witness greatness at something so few can accomplish. It may be sad, but teachers, those who shape the minds of tomorrow, will never be appreciated as much for molding young children into model citizens as Shaq will be for throwing an orange ball through a hoop.
 -- Matthew Flynn, Racine, Wisc.

I don't want to ever hear another player talk about going on strike!
 -- Lee, Los Angeles

I feel the outrageous salaries the athletes are getting paid has destroyed the desire and passion of the game. It has nothing to do with the love of the game anymore because it's all about the money. These athletes are getting paid millions of dollars to play sports that the most of us can barely make time to play on our days off.
 -- Clint C. Skinner, Kokomo, Ind.

GRANT HILL IS #10? Please tell me that's a typo. I shouldn't even have to explain how many things are wrong with that.
 -- Matt Moore, Philadelphia

Yes, they are worth it. Very simply, we live in a free-market economy. That being said, each athlete is worth his/her market value. If an athlete is in the peak of his/her career and the market is screaming for more of him/her, they are able to command top dollar. Should the owners of the teams be allowed to profit 10 times more than the highest-paid athlete?
 -- Reggie, Maplewood N.J.

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