Quarterbacks. Point guards. Many (male) professional athletes.
Including a certain center-fielder for the LA Angels slated to make upwards of 40 million dollars a year for the next decade.
Mike Trout's deal blew another high profile MLB signing out of the water barely after the ink had dried. The Philadelphia Phillies recently signed Bryce Harper to a deal worth $25 million a year and a total value of $330 million in the same time span.
Huge payouts aren't just for baseball players, either.
NFL QB Matt Ryan's contract extension is worth $30 million a year for the next five he plays. NBA superstar Lebron James earns almost $40 million a year, too.
And those are only a few examples.
Now, as a sports fan, I like following athletes. I enjoy watching games on TV and in person. I eagerly wait for the start of seasons and follow them to the end.
That doesn't mean I think those athletes are paid even close to what they need to be paid.
No one needs 40 million dollars. No one. That is a larger sum of money in one year than some of us can ever even imagine seeing in our lifetimes.
Most of us can't even picture what $40 million looks like.
Meanwhile, in the same country where athletes are paid tens of millions of dollars, some people struggle to pay rent and feed themselves while working multiple jobs at once.
Some people are out of work and can't support themselves at all.
Teachers have to fight in their streets for raises and resources they need to educate the next generation of the country.
Firemen, police officers, soldiers and all other forms of security do not make much either. And they can quite literally keep us alive.
The people who cook and clean and serve and do public goods for all of us to benefit from do not make anywhere near one million in a year, let alone 40.
Generally speaking, very few people make even close to what professional athletes earn in one year.
It should also be mentioned that not every athlete makes the sums that the players mentioned above do. Female athletes in basically all sports make significantly less than male counterparts.
And not all male athletes bring in the millions, either.
That doesn't make the salaries of the Mike Trouts of the world any less ridiculous.
I understand that athletes put themselves through grueling work. I understand they are at constant risk of injury and often do get injured during the season.
I understand an entire business model has grown around star athletes who bring fans to games and make executives a lot of money.
What I don't understand is why that makes them worth $40 million.
That's an exorbitant amount of money for one human being.
I respect athletes, especially because I myself am not one. I respect that these players are at the height of their talent, skill and career.
I know, but don't necessarily like or respect, the fact that we as a society seem to place more monetary value on entertainers and athletes than we do on teachers and other professionals.
I know we will probably always pay athletes more than we pay our teachers or military or firefighters.
But I still think we can acknowledge that $40 million is way too much to pay someone. I think we can have a discussion about ridiculous salaries without minimizing or belittling the effort and skill of the athletes who get the paychecks.
Bottom line: we can like players and still acknowledge they make more money than they need, especially in comparison to the majority of the country.