Photo courtesy of David_Shankbone
The smile pockets a rattling controversy.
Merry Christmas everyone! Now that my daughter has opened all of her gifts, made a mess, drank some milk, ate and fallen back asleep, I could get some stuff off of my chest.
Yesterday my fiancé’s Jeep died on her while she was driving on the highway. When the tow truck arrived I struck up a general conversation with Jack, the driver. I asked him if he worked all night on Christmas Eve and he looked at me and said “I work all the way thru Sunday, buddy. I can’t afford to take too many days off.” The fact that working on a holiday didn’t seem to bother him made me wonder why it bothers athletes. I think it’s safe to assume that Jack’s passion isn’t towing cars so why is it so hard for an athlete, whose passionate about playing sports, to ‘work’ on holidays?
About a week ago Phil Jackson made it clear that he wasn’t happy about his team playing a game on Christmas Day. Since then a few other people, including Doc Rivers and Lebron James, have echoed Jackson’s sentiments about ‘working’ on that holiday. Are you kidding me?
Along with his circus-like announcement about his signing with the Heat, James got a 5-year $96 million deal. That averages out to a little over $19 million a season and, moreover, a little over $200K PER GAME. Who needs time and a half when you get paid that much for five hours of work? Need I remind you that James only ‘works’ as an NBA player from the end of October until about May…and that’s including any playoffs and/or championships.
Being that the NBA season typically lasts from October to April or May, this gives players and coaches a four month offseason to spend as much time doing whatever it is that makes them happy. I completely understand where these players and coaches are coming from. I mean, no one wants to work on any holiday. Unfortunately there are jobs where no time off can be afforded and being an entertainer is one of those jobs.
At the end of the day, sports players are entertainers and quite frankly, entertainers don’t take days off. Your job is to entertain people. As a result, when the holidays come around and most people are enjoying the day with their families, entertainers have to entertain to earn money.
I really don’t understand what the big deal is. Pay any Joe Schmoe $200K to work on any holiday and I guarantee you that he’ll work a 24-hour shift with a huge smile on his face. In fact, for $200K I bet he’ll work every holiday that year.
What these athletes are failing to remember is that during their offseason, the majority of people in the country are still working and most of the time to the benefit of the athlete. For example, on the 4th of July when Lebron wants to drive around in his fancy cars with his friends and family, those gas stations that he pulls into to fill up his gas tank have people working behind the counter. I bet those people wish they could have an offseason to be with their families and friend.
These coaches and players who have voiced their opinions against playing on Christmas Day have forgotten just how good they have it. When athletes start getting paid by the hour, then I’ll consider their arguments against playing on holidays. Until then, just shut up, shoot the ball and collect your little $200K check.