Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Former LSU track and field athlete shares thoughts on the topic of “pay in sports,” inspired by Serena Williams and Megan Rapinoe.


Several well-known figures in the sports industry earn millions of dollars annually, not only from winning competitions but also from profitable sponsorship agreements. These partnerships often spark interest from the general public, who are always eager to learn about the financial aspects and the actual worth of these deals. While the athlete’s overall earnings may seem impressive on paper, a closer examination reveals a different reality.

Professional athletes like Serena Williams and Megan Rapinoe have often championed the cause of the lack of equal pay in sports. They have time and again pointed out the hidden costs that plague the community. Now, a Jamaican blogger, and former Track Star and Olympic Medalist, has unveiled the hidden reality behind the glamorous facade of professional sports contracts.

Blogger analyzing contracts of professional track and field athletes.

Rori Dunk, a track and field enthusiast from Trelawny, Jamaica, pulled the curtain on the seemingly profitable world of professional sports contracts. However, on X, he posted, “Athletics contracts have a lot of hidden costs that are not so hidden Most athletes don’t get the true numbers of their contracts explain Today I’ll show you the true cost of an athlete who signed a 100k/yr contract in Georgia and what they take home *in theory*”.

Among the various deductions, the taxes imposed on an athlete’s income are particularly noteworthy. According to Dunk, if an athlete files their taxes as an individual, they will only retain $72,000 of the total $100,000 earned. Additionally, the athlete will also owe approximately 12-15% of their contract’s full value to their agent.

This results in a deduction of $12,000, leaving the athlete with a remaining income of $60,000. Although these significant deductions can greatly impact the athletes’ earnings, there are two additional fees that ultimately diminish the appeal of these contracts. One is a coaching fee, while the other is a fund for potential medical treatments.

-Track-and-Field-FB

The initial cost may differ for each individual, as coaches may opt for an annual or monthly fee. This is determined by the coach’s preference and the athlete’s rapport with them. However, Rori Dunk approximates it to be around $10,000, leaving the athlete with $50,000. Additionally, the athlete will be responsible for covering the expenses of cardio and fitness treatments, which can amount to $3000. This brings the remaining balance down to $47,000 from the original $100,000, but the deductions do not end there.

The deductions are ongoing

The track and field athlete is responsible for making significant payments that have yet to be paid. These payments are not taken directly from the contract, but instead come out of the athlete’s own earnings. They cover expenses such as health insurance and retirement plans. Since an athlete’s career in elite sport is limited, it is important to have a solid retirement plan in place for future financial planning, which may require higher premiums.

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Rori Dunk crunched the numbers and determined that the athlete will just barely cover their monthly expenses with the $100,000. He stated, “If you live modestly in Georgia and your monthly bills and necessities total $2,000, which comes out to $23,000 a year, you’ll have about $24,000 left over.” He has provided a valuable perspective on the financial obligations of a top athlete.

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Former LSU Track and Field standout shares views on pay in sports, inspired by Serena Williams and Megan Rapinoe.