NFL quarterback pay v. teacher pay — you’ve got to be kidding!

Published 11:04 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

To the Editor:

I do not watch much professional football anymore, but I was changing TV channels when I heard a commentator make this comment: “The team is now behind; let’s see if the quarterback can earn the $1.5 million he is making for this game!” What? He’s making $1.5 million for THIS game? You must be kidding!

I researched this comment and discovered that the Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has a $23,943,600 contract for this 2017 sixteen-game season. A quick calculation indicates the commentator was correct at $1,496,475 per game.

My mom was a teacher, some of my best friends are teachers and I serve on a local public school board. I know how hard teachers work and the degree of dedication they have for their students’ success. If we assume the average public school teacher earns $50,000 per year for 10 months, and they teach for 30 years, that totals $1.5 million.

So, a dedicated public school teacher making a 30-year career helping students shape their minds and prepare for their future earns $1.5 million and a NFL quarterback makes that same amount in one game!

It takes teachers four years to earn their bachelor’s degrees and most take an additional year’s equivalent to earn their master’s degree. A few earn scholarships, but most do not.

By all accounts, Cousins is an outstanding 29-year-old. He played for and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in kinesiology, is a devoted husband and father, and is a practicing Christian. He has played by the rules and worked hard to develop and refine his skills.

This is not about Cousins personally. Rather it is about a rewards system that indicates a person playing a professional sports game in one afternoon benefits society equal to the benefits teachers give society for 30 dedicated years of service.

By the way, there are five NFL players making more than Cousins this year.

Somewhere along the way our compensation systems seem to have deviated from reality.

Robert N. Holt