SPANISH HARLEM – The NBA, MLB and NHL have all had plans to resume or start their season at some point this season. While many people thought – and still believe – that we won’t have any sports whatsoever, I see the effort being made by these organizations to eventually get their product on the court, field or rink. Sure, the #Coronavirus will be the most important obstacle that each sport will face but money rules the world and as we have seen these last couple of days, money is the second most important hurdle to be navigated to get everyone on board.
Last week… Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays made news, streaming himself playing a game online. He stated that he wasn’t willing to play baseball unless he gets the money he is owed. For a pitcher, I can understand his desire to make the full amount of money he was slated to make. Pitchers are the most fragile because it only takes one pitch to change their career forever. A serious arm or shoulder injury could see them out of the league. Similar to running backs in the NFL, their shelf life in the league doesn’t last as long as other players. It’s easy to see the opinion of one being the opinion of many.
“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof. No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?
“Bro, I’m risking my life. What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100% be a thing. If I’m gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, on top of a 33% cut of the half that’s already there — so I’m really getting, like, 25%. On top of that, it’s getting taxed. So imagine how much I’m actually making to play, you know what I’m saying?
“I’m just saying, it doesn’t make sense for me to lose all of that money and then go play. And then be on lock-down, not around my family, not around the people I love, and getting paid way the hell less — and then the risk of injury runs every time I step on the field.”
The NBA had their infamous conference call with some of the most important players in basketball, and it was said, that by a wide margin the players want to resume their season at some point this year. Again, the issue will be money. All the teams in all these sports are losing billions of dollars and with that, they want to have some type of agreement in place that will have players paid a lower salary due to those loses. I think if you ask any athlete if they want to play, most if not all but at what price?
Due to COVID-19 many people, not just athletes, have taken a hit when it comes to money. Enough businesses have closed or shut down because of the pandemic and sports are no different. I applaud everything being done to get sports back on TV but these athletes should not be treated any differently than any other American going through this struggle. I want to see sports just as much as the next person but how bad will it look if athletes decline to play because they are not getting paid what they are owed. While I’m in no way pro-owner on this; owners want to make a profit and they will do everything they can to make the players get less. I understand that.
Now is not the time to haggle about money. Realize that everyone is going through a difficult time and tough decisions are being made to get back to whatever “new normal” is coming. We need sports and I hope that at some point, they have an agreement in place that helps all parties involved.
Leave your two pesos below and come back tomorrow for a guy we can’t pay enough, Replacement Matt/Dude.