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Pro athletes are worth every penny

According to Forbes, Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest earning athlete on the planet.
According to Forbes, Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest earning athlete on the planet. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Remember the days when professional athletes had to practically get on their knees and beg owners to pay them a fair wage?

That’s going back decades, to another century, a different and much simpler time.

Athletes then mustered the courage to unionize and established some rights and eventually grabbed a much bigger piece of the revenue pie.

Nowadays, as you and I know, pro athletes — at least the best of the best — are paid a ridiculous amount of money to play their respective sport.

Or is it ridiculous?

Superstar soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is #1 on Forbes’ list of the top 100 earning athletes at a remarkable $93-million in the last year.

Portuguese soccer fans and supporters of Ronaldo’s domestic club Real Madrid would just about give their right arm to watch him kick a ball around.

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NBA icon LeBron James earned $86.2-million, followed by soccer great Lionel Messi, tennis legend Roger Federer and hoopster Kevin Durant who round out the top five.

READ MORE: UBC grad Michelle Kunimoto named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list

There aren’t any Canadians in the top 100 and strangely enough there are no hockey players that made the grade either, even though there are many millionaires on the ice.

But back to the question, are pro athletes worth the millions of dollars they are paid?

READ MORE: Johnny Depp is Hollywood’s most overpaid actor: Forbes

Sure, some athletes are overpaid based on their performance or potential while others are underpaid for what they provide for their respective teams.

Owners of pro sports franchises earn billions through broadcast mega contracts, ticket sales, merchandise and promoting their players.

Given that, collectively, I think pro athletes are worth every penny.

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