You’re not a better person for not liking sports.

The day after the Super Bowl is a day for NFL fans to wind down, and it’s a day for sports-haters to vent their hot air. I get it, people are sour because NBA players show up to practice with guns, NFL players accidentally shoot themselves, excessively celebrate. All hockey players do is fight. Baseball players don’t speak English, etc. Problem is, sports-haters will deny all the good in sports, mostly because they don’t understand it. It is said hatred is derived from fear.

Chief among sports-hater gripes: athletes salaries are too high. I love hearing all the reasons pro athletes get paid too much.

Unfortunately for the haters, it’s a market. People buy jerseys and go to games. People buy hot dogs and beer at the games. A lot of money is made. Either the players get paid too much or the owners get paid too much.  The money is not coming out of someone’s college fund, and it has nothing to do with national security or the high cost of gasoline. Abortion, legalizing pot and curing cancer have nothing to do with it. Professional sports leagues spent decades creating fan bases and this is the result. There’s a market. They created it. They pay their athletes based on projected returns. It’s simple.

I agree athletes are not heroes and they get paid a lot. But to say they get paid “too much” is ridiculous. Too much according to what? Give me your best faulty comparisons. Yes, I agree teachers, postal workers, troops, et. al should all be paid more, but this has nothing to do with sports. If workers in this country made more income, they’d likely attend more sporting events.

I’ll admit, when I was in high school, I was bitter about sports. It might have been that the jocks pushed me around in the hallways; it might have been I just didn’t understand the games. People who bash sports usually don’t know a damn thing about them, and tend to base their bitterness in, well, nothing substantive. Sports-bashers are usually upset about something in life, and looking for places to take it out. They have the idea that fanatics do nothing meaningful in life.  They won’t let themselves have a good time except for when presented with free tickets to a game. Then, it’s likely they’ll go and have a good time, because you know what? Games are fun.

I agree, the big leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) don’t do enough for society. Their acronyms and words like “giving, charity, and help” should be synonymous – not things mentioned on the side. These leagues are in positions of power and it’s clear they could do more. At the same time, it’s their money, and they can spend it as they wish.

Good news is: sports-haters have a clear solution: don’t go to games. This also means turning down free tickets (just to make sure you still have principles).

Instead of complaining about high salaries and glorification of athletes, invest in something you are passionate about.  Coddle it, nurture its development. Make people excited about it. Find ways to expand the market for it. Work hard on it. Don’t bash organizations and players for their successes.