How the Business Side of Sports Causes Greed
By Bob Branco
June 22, 2021
Last week, I had a discussion with several friends about Xander Bogaerts, the shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. He has a clause in his contract which allows him to opt out at the end of next season. If he opts out, it will likely be because he is concerned about what other shortstops will be making on the open market. I’ve been constantly reminded that baseball is a business, and this is what happens with players who are competing for the salaries that they believe they deserve based on their individual talent.
I would like to present the other side of this discussion by thinking like a sports athlete. When are we supposed to just feel humble and grateful for what we have? Xander Bogaerts is making twenty million dollars this year, and obviously, he is preoccupied with the prospect of making a lot more. If I took home a twenty million dollar annual pay check, I will guarantee you that my wife is not going to say, “Come on, Bob, you can do better than that.”
Allow me to bring religion into this discussion as well. I will suggest that when players spend their time worrying about competing with other players for the top salaries in a given sport, that this is the devil at work. Although I completely understand the business side of sports, I know that God wants us to settle for what we have, and to be thankful and appreciative. There is no need to be overzealous. These guys are not living in poverty by any means. They do just fine, thank you very much.