I have been listening to a couple of stories in the news involving sports figures. One is that a quarterback named Brock Osweiler signed a four year contract with the Houston Texans for $72 million dollars. Secondly, Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays has said he will be expecting to be paid $150 million dollars for 5 years. Another story this morning reported that hockey players from Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators are objecting to being included in the new Ontario Pension Plan, noting that their pensions are covered by the NHL and besides the average salary for a hockey player is $2.4 million dollars per year.
Now this is not new, and there are many reasons stated as to why some sports figures command such high salaries. There are others – including bank presidents, movie stars, real estate managers, rock singers, and inherited money people – who live on very high incomes. Some of those high income people also find ways to hide their money away so they do not pay taxes.
Should we be upset about these things? Does it matter what Bautista makes to hit a baseball, or Celine Dion earns to sing a song? Maybe we should ask if it matters whether some people live in poverty. Maybe we should ask if it matters must flee their homeland because they have no money. Maybe we should ask whether it matters that most poor people are members of visible minorities, single mothers, and mentally ill people.
Can I continue to watch my beloved Boston Red Sox, knowing that each player on that team, and thus the Red Sox Corporation itself makes so much money? Maybe I should spend my time trying to find a way to deal with poverty. Maybe I should stop rewarding high price sports figures, and seek a just way to divert that money to everyone else as well.
Sunday’s theme is Love and the art of gift giving. Let that gift be justice, and care for the poor, rather than a nice shiny expensive gift.
Have a god weekend.
See you Sunday.