Sports Illustrated releases a list of sports’ 50 highest paid athletes. The name of this list?
I must admit to finding this title a little annoying. I realize it’s a play on “the Fortune 500.” But it is wildly, hopelessly misleading. The American Heritage dictionary defines “fortunate” as
Bringing something good and unforeseen; auspicious.
Having unexpected good fortune; lucky.
I think there are few who would deny that athletes are at least a little lucky: There are only so many 6’10”, 250 lb specimens in the gene pool. But to suggest that luck is their defining characteristic? Not hard work, intense physical preparation, hours on the court, the diamond, the fairway, the boxing ring?
Take the most “fortunate” member of the list, Floyd Mayweather. Money Mayweather isn’t just gifted $85 million a year. And he doesn’t earn it just because he can take a punch. No: he kills himself in the gym for months before a fight. Let’s take a glimpse into his workout regimen:
Mayweather’s workout routine involves hours of running, jumping rope, crunches, speed bag work, heavy bag work, sparring, and even pickup basketball games. Mayweather can land jabs blindfolded, hit the mitts blindfolded, and throw thousands of punches in a 20 minute span. In some workouts, Mayweather has gone for an hour straight without a break, hitting mitts, the heavy bag, the speed bag (762 times in 7 minutes!), jumped rope, and even did floor exercises. Boxers like Mayweather need to have a combination of power and speed. Sparring and practicing is the best way to improve these. However, a great boxing routine could include alternate foot jump rope for 5 minutes, cross over jump rope for 5 minutes, medicine ball catch for 5 minutes, jumping jacks for 3 minutes, heavy bag training for 10 minutes and speed bag training for 5 minutes.
There’s nothing “fortunate” about such drive, determination, and discipline. That’s hard work, pure and simple. Maniacal, focused, unending hard work.
Of course, Floyd can’t do it alone. Like every other entrepreneur in America, he owes his success not to his own hard work and ingenuity, his innate talent and hard-won self-improvement. Nope. Really, we’re all to credit for Floyd’s successes.
As President Obama told our nation’s small business owners, “Somebody helped create this unbelievable American system that have, that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
In other words, don’t feel so proud of yourself, hard-workers. You job-creators aren’t that great. Just because you’ve driven the economy’s engine forward, well, so what?
“Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own.”
Boy, he really knows how to get those job creators inspired, doesn’t he?
As my coworker CJ Ciaramella joked on Twitter: “If you’re a world-class athlete who’s dedicated your entire life to your spot—you didn’t build that.”
It’s not as if the president is an outlier of liberal thought. His comment was just a reiteration of Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s point last year: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.”
Instead of running down hard-working job creators—instead of insisting that they are no more than “fortunate” beneficiaries of society’s fruits—perhaps we should take some time to consider that hard work deserves to be rewarded. Taxing the successful at higher rates isn’t justice, some sort of a cosmic payback for their good luck. It is a necessary evil.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire