Scott Tibbs
blog post
February 18th, 2005

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I am sick of hearing about "greedy" pro sports players.

Here we go again with the complaints about "greedy" professional sports players, this time about the National Hockey League players who would not accept the salary cap the NHL owners wanted. The NHL Players Association did offer a salary cap; the owners' proposed cap was 93% of the players' proposed cap.

We hear occasionally about "greedy" owners, but we hear about "greedy" players much more often. It should be the other way around. Who are the ones who bring in the money for professional sports? The players. No one pays to see the owners negotiate contracts and so forth. Fans pay to see the best players in the world compete.

No one is forcing the owners to give huge contracts to "greedy" players. Owners give players these contracts voluntarily because they want to win a championship, get fans into the seats, and sell merchandise.

As a fan, I like the idea of a salary cap because it makes the playing field (no pun intended) more level for small-market teams. But I have no sympathy for owners who whine about profits when they refuse to exercise fiscal restraint in the contracts they sign.

I find it unfortunate that some conservatives who are normally supportive of the free market suddenly start engaging in class warfare rhetoric when it comes to professional sports players. Whether it is jealousy over money, jealousy over talent and fame, or some other reason, this needs to stop.

The players in the NHL, National Basketball Association, National Football League or Major League Baseball deserve to make as much money as they can from their unique talents. After all, if they money did not go to the players, it would go to the owners.