As I said yesterday, I enjoy Lawrence O'Donnell and watch his show nightly. Last night he apologized for his intemperance on his piece regarding "NFL socialism." Oh, my, it turns out that what he is so incensed about is that the players' salaries are so inflated by the fact that NFL owners don't have to pay for the stadiums they play in. Lawrence, really...
The NFL team with the highest payroll is the New York Giants, whose players have an average salary of $2,470,622. As it happens, they play in
a stadium which was built with private funding, but prior to this year their stadium was publicly owned.
Who else plays in publicly owned stadiums? Well, major league baseball teams do. The team with the highest payroll is the New York Yankees, and their average player's salary is $8,253,335. ! Yikes, that's well over three times the average salary of the Giants. Not only that, but of the 30 MLB teams, 21 of them have an average salary higher than that of the highest paid NFL team.
But baseball is not really the worst offender. The NBA also plays in public arenas, and while their highest paid team is not quite in league with the Yankees, the Cleveland Cavaliers have an average salary of $5,938,744. That's well over two times that of the NFL Giants, and no fewer than 29 of the 30 NBA teams have an average salary higher than that of the highest paid NFL team.
You'd think hockey would be a safe comparison, but the San Jose Sharks are more highly paid than the Giants, at $2,813,333 per player, and 6 of the 30 NHL teams have higher average salaries than do the highest paid NFL team.
So, Lawrence, I can't say that I really feel your pain here. Of the four major league professional sports, all of which play in publicly owned facilities, the one which has the least highly paid players is the NFL.