Somewhere or another, I read an article that, as an aside, made some remark to the effect that the author liked sports much more when there wasn’t so much money separating the fans from the players.
Well, maybe (and when was that, exactly? Babe Ruth notoriously got paid more than the President back in the 1920s…)—but where exactly does that money come from to pay those bazillionaire ballplayers?
Probably because Americans (and not only: remember that during the 1970s soccer player Pele was the highest-paid athlete in the world) love sports so much they go to games, watch televised sports in huge numbers that pump up ad rates, buy licensed gear and other products, and generally throw loads and loads of money at professional sports, such that teams can still make profits even though they’re funneling huge sums toward players (and huger sums – do not forget – to owners).
So the next time you hear sports fans complaining about athletes and money, tell them to stay away from the stadium, turn off the TV, and stop buying team paraphernalia.
You think that will work?