Tuesday 21 February 2012

The Secrecy of Player Salaries, Pt. 2 (Twitter Edition)

A recent debate has broken out on Twitter regarding publicizing player salaries. I have written previously on the subject but input from people who are directly impacted by disclosing salaries have given their opinions on the subject.

It all started when Sportsnet's Arash Madani sent out a tweet somewhat bemoaning the fact that the CFL does not release player salaries. Dave Naylor of TSN also weighed in. Both reporters feel as if the salaries should be made public.

Then things got interesting. First, it was Nikki Jimenez who agreed with me that salaries should be kept private. Then Kevin Glenn made his opinion known, which aligned with Mrs. Jimenez.

The arguments for disclosing salaries were the same we always hear: other leagues publicize their salaries so CFL should as well and fans pay the salaries so they have a right to know. I don't agree at all with either sentiment. For starters, just because other leagues do it doesn't mean every league has to. That is, quite honestly, a rather weak reason. Secondly, while fans may pay to watch the team and therefore contribute to players' salaries, teams like Hamilton lose money, which means fans aren't paying the whole freight. Also, just because your purchases help to offset cost doesn't grant you the right know what the employees make. Purchases made by Tim Horton's customers pay for those salaries, but you wouldn't dare walk into your local coffee shop and ask to know what the guy or gal behind the counter makes.

I'm not surprised at the stances taken by the respective groups; reporters want to know more and players (and their wives) want to keep their privacy. I also don't think either side is wrong, I just happen to side with Kevin Glenn and Nikki Jimenez.

I am sure this is an issue that will continue to spring up, but until a really strong reason for publicizing salaries is made – and that has yet to happen, in my opinion – the status quo is just fine. Players are people too, and just because they are talented enough to make a living in a high-profile profession, does not mean they lose the right to their financial privacy. I don't see how a fan's enjoyment of the game is enhanced by knowing what the players make. I understand that transparency is important, but so is individual privacy. On this issue, privacy should win out.

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