Achieving Income Justice in Professional Sports: Limitation, Taxation, or Donation

Physical Culture and Sport 56 (1):12-22 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper is based on the assumption that the high incomes of some professional sports athletes, such as players in professional leagues in the United States and Europe, pose an ethical problem of social justice. I deal with the questions of what should follow from this evaluation and in which ways those incomes should be regulated. I discuss three different options: a) the idea that the incomes of professional athletes should be limited, b) the idea that they should be vastly taxed by the state, and c) the idea that there is a moral obligation for the athletes to spend portions of their incomes on good causes. I will conclude that in today’s circumstances there are good reasons to advocate both option one (limitation) and option two (taxation), but that priority should be given to taxation.

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Gottfried Schweiger
University of Salzburg

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