Too much money in sport?

I couldn’t care less if I make a fourth-round US Open or I lose first round. To me, everything is the same. I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again.

— Bernard Tomic

ID-10066019 tenni
Deliberately tanking can earn our elite players a year’s wages in one (mis)hit. (Image courtesy of Phaitoon at

So said Australian tennis player, Bernard Tomic, after he lost in the first round of Wimbledon the other day.

I seriously wanted to slap him.

Past coaches and other supporters have come out and said he is going through a tough time at the moment; Tomic himself referred to his sad performance as a ‘mental issue’. This may well be the case and if so, the boy needs professional support, not a tennis match.

Tomic received $65 000 for being bored and losing his first round match. That’s $65 000 for roughly four hours work (maybe less, I didn’t see the match). Who do you know who earns $16 250 an hour? What other ’employee’ could get away with ‘not bothering to try’ in their work environment?

I know a lot of people who are stuck in their jobs because they feel they have no other options. I also know people who have been unhappy in their jobs and have taken a massive pay cut in the pursuit of work-life balance and improved job satisfaction.

Then again, $65 000 for losing could be seen as motivation to play, even if tennis bores you and ‘holding a trophy and doing well’ is no longer satisfying.

I totally get that his father is a pushy mongrel, but the words came from Tomic’s mouth and one would think that, at 24 years of age, he should be able to stand up and say he doesn’t want to play any more.

Let’s be honest — it has to be all about the money.

Nick Kyrgios is another Australian embarrassment who, by his own admission, does not enjoy tennis, yet continues to play and exhibit his juvenile behaviours for the whole world to see.

There has to be a whole host of other young, male tennis players on Tennis Australia’s books who are champing at the bit to be given a go. Time and again I wonder why Kyrgios and Tomic don’t just both stand aside and let someone else play in their place?

It’s the money. No-brainer.

And the Australian cricketers … threatening to ‘strike’ if they don’t get a pay-rise. I don’t know how much they earn to play their sport, but I bet it’s more than I earn.

I have dim memories from my childhood of hearing that professional sportsmen (not being sexist here, because back then it was mostly about the men) still had to have real jobs in their sport’s off-season. These days there is no need to supplement their income with real work.

There is something incredibly wrong about this; it causes me to wonder if the insane amount of money in sport is why there is so much poor behaviour among the so-called elite sportspeople now.

I have a theory that if we drastically cut the ‘per game’ pay in professional sport, ensuring players had to earn an alternative income (or, at the very least, earned a normal income more in line with the people who actually work in a 9-5 job), then maybe sport would attract only the people who genuinely loved it.

What a weird concept these days — sportsmen and women who are not playing for the money, but because they love their sport. Now these people surely would be fantastic role-models for our children.

If not, then I would be happy to take over from Tomic or Kyrgios in just one of their matches. Like them, I would lose first round and walk away with a bucketload of money. Unlike them, I would try my very best (even though I would know it was pointless).





2 thoughts on “Too much money in sport?

  1. My mum often said that money was the root of all evil. How true is such a sentiment so prevalent in today’s society in many different forums.
    It is particularly sad when money speaks all languages in so many sports. Particularly sad was it to see and listen to Tomic’s ‘spoilt brat’ comments after his pathetic Wimbledon performance. Particularly sad it is that the likes of Tomic and Kyrgios stand in the way of young people who want to give ‘their best shot’. This tendency to give ‘god’ status to money in various fields of life be they leisure or work orientated, too often clouds the way preventing people to ‘have a go’ and ‘give their best shots’. In fact, self-fulfilment is very hard to achieve.
    In my opinion, it is up to a child’s parents and educators to constantly point to achieving goals with determination and persistence and not be distracted by ‘money’.
    I often use these quotes to keep me ‘on the right track’:
    ‘Never, never, never give up’.
    ‘The elevator to success is out of order…..You’ll have to take the stairs, one step at a time’.
    ‘Live today, for tomorrow it will all be history’.
    ‘Carpe Diem!’


    Liked by 1 person

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