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Roddy White doesn’t like “millionaires vs. billionaires” line

Roddy White AP

Earlier today, Falcons receiver Roddy White decided to get something off his chest.  So he took to Twitter, and he started tweeting.

“I hate when espn commentators say this is a war between millionaires and billionaires with the cba it’s like 10 players on an NFL roaster [that] make 1 million dollars the rest of the guys make in the 100 thousands on a 53 man roster such a stupid comment,” White said.

He’s right, and given the average length of an NFL career and the habit of many players to spend to the limits of their income, not many have a seven-figure net worth.

But here’s the problem.  Despite the labels, NFL players make a lot more money than the average person.  So whether it’s $250,000 per year or $500,000 per year or $20 million per year, most folks can’t appreciate the difference.  In the eyes of the general public, every NFL player is rich while playing in the NFL, even if they don’t stay rich for long after they leave the NFL.

Even if it’s not millionaires versus billionaires, it’s rich versus richer, and that’s why most fans are having a hard time caring about the inability of the two sides to carve up their riches in a way that makes everyone happy.

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45 Responses to “Roddy White doesn’t like “millionaires vs. billionaires” line”
  1. imjinbrdgr says: Feb 18, 2011 10:45 PM

    I feel ya Roddy, some of you poor bastards only make 3 or 4 hundred grand a year. On top of that the average career lasts only what… 3 or 4 years. So if yo ad that up it only comes to ah well … never mind.

  2. nagaswan says: Feb 18, 2011 10:58 PM

    Why not pay them for their unique skills? I can’t perform on an NFL level. The UFL players can’t perform on an NFL level. These owners should pay the players whatever they have to because without elite athletes they own large empty future demolition sites.

  3. oldcracker says: Feb 18, 2011 11:11 PM

    Amen, brother!

    It’s the same reason that Hollywood types, politicians and the “upper 3%” have no connection with the common man.

    Everything I have achieved or own, I owe to hard work (at times working 2 jobs), the support of my family, and the U.S.Army (my degree).

    I’m on the road and away from the family for weeks at a time, and when it comes to vacation time, I have to decide whether it’s a day at the ballpark or the amusement park. Meanwhile, the players cry because they have to decide between which Bently to buy, and the owners cry because the taxpayers won’t buy them a new playground to entertain their “inner circle.”

    They cannot relate to me, and I cannot relate to them.

  4. nothimagain says: Feb 18, 2011 11:13 PM

    Roddy White is on to something, however it applies both ways. Most players with a minimum of 3 to 4 years experience have made at least a million dollars. The owners, individually, don’t make anywhere close to a billion dollars from annual revenues, but there still are a handful of them that are actual billionaires. Guys who’ve made over 1 million dollars over their playing days versus guys who have made over a 1 billion over their lives. Doesn’t have the same ring.

    So, what White is basically trying to say is it’s time to drop the banal expressions “throw someone under the bus”; C’mon man; ‘Arguably'; Mental toughness; and of course “It is what it is.”

  5. ndgarretjax says: Feb 18, 2011 11:14 PM

    he wouldn’t be saying that if he got paid billions.

  6. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Feb 18, 2011 11:21 PM

    Why don’t the players start their own league and share 85% of the revenue?

    What, they don’t want to invest in the game?

  7. tfbuckfutter says: Feb 18, 2011 11:33 PM

    I can’t even think of a job that I only had to do 16 times a year and made in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Well….ok, 20 times technically, but 4 of those are total screwoff days.

  8. tfbuckfutter says: Feb 18, 2011 11:34 PM

    “That I wouldn’t do”…..is what I meant in that previous comment…..in reference to the jobs…..ah forget it.

    Goddammit.

  9. boneyardbuc says: Feb 18, 2011 11:39 PM

    That’s the smartest thing I’ve ever heard Roddy White say.

  10. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Feb 19, 2011 12:04 AM

    Yeah, and this is the dumb MF who wore a “Free Mike Vick” shirt on national television. Roddy, if you didn’t have athlectic ability you would be homeless. Shut the f*ck up. No one cares what you think.

  11. possiblecabbage says: Feb 19, 2011 12:11 AM

    The percentage of money that the players get manifests itself in the Salary Cap/Salary Floor and how it’s tied to revenue, correct?

    If so, assuming the league were to keep the veteran minimum salary as it is (or even increase it) while reducing the overall chunk of the pie that the player get, then it’s not the guys who make $250,000-$500,000 per year who are going to lose out, as they’re making the minimum or close to the minimum. Instead it’s the guy who would sign a “large contract” who will instead sign a “slightly less large contract.”

    In this case it literally is “millionaires vs. billionaires.” Assuming the owners are willing to leave the vet minimum where it is, it’s not the guys on the roster who aren’t making much that the league is coming after.

  12. falcons999 says: Feb 19, 2011 12:23 AM

    These days if you aren’t poor you’re rich.

  13. raiders757 says: Feb 19, 2011 12:40 AM

    “Despite the labels, NFL players make a lot more money than the average person. So whether it’s $250,000 per year or $500,000 per year or $20 million per year, most folks can’t appreciate the difference. In the eyes of the general public, every NFL player is rich while playing in the NFL, even if they don’t stay rich for long after they leave the NFL.”

    I can’t disagree with this at all. The thing is, in knowing I feel this way, I still can’t feel all that sorry for the payers. Not only are they getting payed a good wage to play football, most gained that chance by showcasing their talents attending above average colleges. Who’s fault is it, that some decided to forgo their degree to join the NFL? Who’s fault is it, that some decided to blow their money as if it were a never ending fountain of golden riches? It’s not the owners fault that most are too stupid to manage their money and live within the means of reality.

    The owners are in it to make money, as it’s obviously a huge business venture. The players need to realize that they’re nothing more than employees. The NFL can survive without them. There is one hell of a long line of people willing to do the same as they do for far less. Sure, they’re not the best at it, but you can bet they’ll give everything they have to prove they are.

    My loyalty is to my favorite team, and it really doesn’t matter who suits up on Sunday. I don’t care about the ratings, TV contracts, and who’s under the helmet. No star athlete of any kind, has ever swayed me into buying shoes, underwear, soup, and a sports drink I didn’t already want on my own. I’m not that shallow, nor that stupid. My only concern is that I get to watch my favorite NFL team on Sunday afternoons in the Fall.

    Yes, I want the best available, but not at the expense of having nothing at all.

  14. hound32 says: Feb 19, 2011 1:18 AM

    somehow i don’t care what pampered spoiled athletes and clueless even more greedy owners think or say . Just get it done !!!

  15. beauregard says: Feb 19, 2011 1:32 AM

    “These owners should pay the players whatever they have to because without elite athletes they own large empty future demolition sites.”

    And without the owners the elite athletes would be P.E. teachers in Buffalo.

  16. habibthomas says: Feb 19, 2011 1:44 AM

    Well there are guys on the practice squad not making to much and keep in mind the guys makings 100K or 500K etc don’t make it all at once so there is something to what Roddy is saying. Of course there’s no remorse for the multi-millionaires….

  17. morowcjw says: Feb 19, 2011 1:53 AM

    nagaswan says: Feb 18, 2011 10:58 PM

    “Why not pay them for their unique skills? I can’t perform on an NFL level. The UFL players can’t perform on an NFL level. These owners should pay the players whatever they have to because without elite athletes they own large empty future demolition sites.”

    No, because i would rather watch a UFL player make $200,000 b/c they still do things i can’t, vs. watch somebody bitch about a salary which is roughly equivalent to 10 years of me working at a league minimum.

    JUST LOOK AT JAMARCUS RUSSELL, his rookie payscale is slated to be a top QB in the league, but he is NOT EVEN IN THE LEAGUE ANYMORE.

  18. jebdamone says: Feb 19, 2011 2:10 AM

    like everything else in the world the salary stratum does not make for a large percentage of players to succeed in life after football. in fact, 78 percent are bankrupt within 2 years of their retirement. yeah, some of them are getting very wealthy and staying wealthy but they are the solid minority. the extremely short shelf life of the ‘normal’ nfl career is showing that A: players are not making enough money to support themselves in their retirement and B: players that do make a lot of money in their short careers often do not invest/spend it wisely. the average career for an nfl player being around three years and the average salary being a little over 1 million means that, on average, the career earnings of a player are around four million dollars. i know that sounds like a lot of money to the majority of people and it is absolutely enough money to invest and live off of for the rest of one’s life. but, it is not THAT insane of a number if that is all the money a person is going to make for a lifetime. in fact, over a forty year period of labor that comes out to right about 50,000 per year. of course everyone is just going to say ‘well, these guys should just find a job like the rest of us do’ but it interesting and there are numerous good articles on this phenomenon.

  19. Jeremy W says: Feb 19, 2011 2:20 AM

    Without NFL owners, the unique skills these elite athletes possess would have absolutely zero worth. It goes both ways.

  20. hao101288 says: Feb 19, 2011 3:32 AM

    ok

  21. mr92687 says: Feb 19, 2011 5:53 AM

    Falcons fan who sometimes wished Roddy didn’t have a twitter….

  22. joetoronto says: Feb 19, 2011 6:09 AM

    nagaswan:

    You must have missed it, they ARE being paid for their skills.

  23. orangejynx says: Feb 19, 2011 6:24 AM

    I know what ya mean Roddy. It’s hard to take $450,000 annual and invest it wisely AND be able to put spinning rims on all four of your cars.

  24. jersey73 says: Feb 19, 2011 6:40 AM

    Truth hurt Roddy?

  25. contract says: Feb 19, 2011 7:19 AM

    “I feel ya Roddy, some of you poor bastards only make 3 or 4 hundred grand a year. On top of that the average career lasts only what… 3 or 4 years. So if yo ad that up it only comes to ah well … never mind.”

    It adds up to a lifetime of medical problems and a significantly shortened lifespan. It also adds up to paying high tax rates to subsidize ah well … never mind.

  26. wtfchiefs says: Feb 19, 2011 7:48 AM

    nagaswan

    According to that errant thought you’ve posted, any professional that can do something someone else cant should be paid handsomely. Do you think you should make millions because people cant pump gas as good as you?

  27. n2thaizzo says: Feb 19, 2011 7:55 AM

    I agree. These athletes are in a market where they can earn (at least) a 6 figure salary. Why hate on that? They are the best in the world (or thought to be) in their profession, so why get mad at them. Do you think the top CPA makes only 30k? How about the top Dr.? Don’t get mad at athletes for making all the money they can. Who goes to a job trying to make the least they can get?

  28. triplepropalm says: Feb 19, 2011 8:04 AM

    And I love the old Patrick Ewing “We make a lot of money, but we spend a lot of money, too” line.

    It’s not anyone else’s fault if certain pro athletes don’t appreciate how short their careers are and spend like drunken sailors on shore leave while the fat checks are coming in.

    I’m guessing more than half of NFL players have gross incomes that in the seven figures during their careers.

    That’s close enough to a millionaire for most people.

    It will take me over 20 years to get close to that.

  29. toe4 says: Feb 19, 2011 8:13 AM

    Roddy White… do you know how much you paid for your last gallon of gasoline?

    I’m betting you didn’t even look at the price.

  30. ny82jy says: Feb 19, 2011 8:35 AM

    Ok so it’s not millionaire vs billionairs. It’s the rich vs the richer.. How bout that?

  31. touchdownroddywhite says: Feb 19, 2011 8:55 AM

    Not the brightest comment to make for sure, and it doesn’t help the argument any. If I could make 400k for one year, I’d be perpetually wealthy within 5. As it stands it’s going to take me 15-20 to achieve that goal.

    Wake up and smell the bacon, Roddy. I’m 26 years old and haven’t made a half million yet in my lifetime. I know plenty of other people haven’t either. The first contract any player signs is generally worth more than that right? So no matter what an NFL player is generally coming out well ahead of the average American in terms of opportunity when their NFL career ends.

  32. FoozieGrooler says: Feb 19, 2011 9:07 AM

    beauregard says: Feb 19, 2011 1:32 AM

    “These owners should pay the players whatever they have to because without elite athletes they own large empty future demolition sites.”

    “And without the owners the elite athletes would be P.E. teachers in Buffalo.”

    ====

    Not necessarily true.
    Without players, you have no league.
    Without owners, you have, well, the Green Bay Packers.

  33. pftisbecominglame says: Feb 19, 2011 10:01 AM

    toe4 says:

    Roddy White… do you know how much you paid for your last gallon of gasoline?

    I’m betting you didn’t even look at the price.
    ================================

    Hell, he probably didn’t even pump it. He probably sent someone else down to fill the cars.

    Whenever one of these spoiled athletes opens their mouths, it just shows how clueless they really are. I mean, you can’t really blame them, because they’ve been sheltered ever since they showed the slightest inkling of talent…at about age 6-10.

    So, for the last 12+ years, they’ve had absolutely NO responsibilities and no consequences. That’s why this union has NO CLUE how to handle this labor dispute. It’s filled with a ton of over-privileged idiots who haven’t a clue what the world is really like. They’ve been waiting since they were teenagers to hit this payday, and they feel entitled to it because mommy and daddy (when he was around) have been pounding it into their heads since they first sprouted hair down there.

  34. Scott says: Feb 19, 2011 10:48 AM

    It been written here many times, but to me it is obvious, the players play becasue they want to. Most play for money, but I sure some still play for a love of the game. The owners spent nearly a billion dollars on an investment. They run a business. Owners know that most players shelf life is only 3-4 years, why don’t the player know that. These players wanting more and more need to take a reality check. Go try doing something else. Sure some would succeed, but 99.9% of todays NFL players would never come close to making “in the real world” what they do as an NFL player. They need to cut the best deal they can and get on with it.

    I will never side with the players, except on a few points. I think the owners need to pony up on medical benefits for former players more. But even with that, the NFLPA needs to put up a good portion too.

    If there is a work stoppage, who is it going to affect more? The owners have the deep pockets. Sure Peyton and Brady would be hurting, but the other 1500 players might feel a bit of a financial pinch. Cut a deal guys.

  35. vahawker says: Feb 19, 2011 10:50 AM

    So jeb you are saying these players should play three years, retire at 25-26 years old and never work again? You mean they didn’t take advantage of the free education they were given at university?

  36. Canyonero says: Feb 19, 2011 11:13 AM

    Good enough reasoning on Roddy White’s part, but it’s flawed.

    Every time a guy has to pay $9 for a hot dog at a game, and his kid wants a shirt that costs $50, and a day at the stadium is about the same as a mortgage payment — people are going to take a second look at what the owners are making AND what the players are making.

    With few exceptions it’s a lot more than the guy with the $9 hot dog.

  37. coolzog says: Feb 19, 2011 11:23 AM

    How is Roddy White at math? The min salary is in the range of 500k, so all you have to do is play for more than one season (which I would guess the vast majority of players do) and you’re a millionaire.

  38. laeaglefan says: Feb 19, 2011 11:31 AM

    “My loyalty is to my favorite team, and it really doesn’t matter who suits up on Sunday. I don’t care about the ratings, TV contracts, and who’s under the helmet. No star athlete of any kind, has ever swayed me into buying shoes, underwear, soup, and a sports drink I didn’t already want on my own. I’m not that shallow, nor that stupid. My only concern is that I get to watch my favorite NFL team on Sunday afternoons in the Fall. ”

    You speak for every real NFL football fan in the United States. Maybe when the “children” haggling about their cut of the billions finally realize that they’ll do a deal and NFL life will get back to normal for all of us.

  39. easyeddie says: Feb 19, 2011 12:16 PM

    contract says:
    Feb 19, 2011 7:19 AM
    “I feel ya Roddy, some of you poor bastards only make 3 or 4 hundred grand a year. On top of that the average career lasts only what… 3 or 4 years. So if yo ad that up it only comes to ah well … never mind.”

    It adds up to a lifetime of medical problems and a significantly shortened lifespan. It also adds up to paying high tax rates to subsidize ah well … never mind.

    NFL players choose to play football — they are not forced to risk lifetimes of medical problems and shrotened lifespans. Theyre fortunate to have the opportinity to make they money they do. Perhaps if so many of these young men chose to be more frugal with the significant amounts of money they make, they would realize how truly fortunate they are.

  40. hedphurst says: Feb 19, 2011 12:32 PM

    Any player who tweets, blogs, or grants a non-union-authorized interview while negotiations are ongoing should be kicked out of the union. These guys can’t open their mouths (literally or digitally) without revealing just how little regard they had for school while they waited to make the leap to the pros.

    Any true fan of the NFL realizes that the vast majority of players in the league are making lawyer and doctor money, not lotto jackpot money. For this fan, the only sympathy I have for those players, though, is for those who don’t receive sound financial planning advice from their agents/accountants/friends, and/or those who suffer career-ending injuries before getting the chance to play at least one full season.

    I made some stupid decisions with my money in my late teens and early twenties that took years to recover from, and I had nowhere near the money that the 53rd man on an NFL roster makes. There’s a lot of focus on rookie wage scales, retired player health insurance, etc, but IMHO, one of the most important things that should be included in a new CBA is a mandatory retirement savings plan that players would have to contribute to for their own life after football. It doesn’t have to be a league-wide pool, but if these players have such a hard time paying their bills after they’re out of the league, maybe the league and/or the union should make sure that when the young, hard-headed kids coming into the league set aside some money for the future before they blow it all on clothes, cars, and houses.

    It could be handled much like state-required auto insurance. I don’t know if it’s the same in other states, but in Ohio, you can either carry a minimum level of liability insurance, or you can have a certain amount of cash set aside in an account that ensures you can handle your obligations in the event of an accident. A player who gets a huge rookie signing bonus could bypass the required savings plan by setting aside a lump sum off the top of his bonus. A player who gets no guaranteed money and makes league minimum can have a percentage of his games checks withheld, just like Social Security (except it’d actually be accruing interest and still be there for him when he retires). That way, players who only last 2-3 seasons at “low” salaries still have some money available to them while they go back to school, look for a new job, etc.

  41. theravenlives2 says: Feb 19, 2011 12:41 PM

    “These owners should pay the players whatever they have to because without elite athletes they own large empty future demolition sites.”

    And without the owners the elite athletes would be P.E. teachers in Buffalo.

    =================================

    Excellent post, beauregard, but what about the the other part of this….the fans? Without us, and our blind devotion, neither of them have a leg to stand on. We’re just fed up, and we want this settled…yesterday!

  42. stupadassle says: Feb 19, 2011 2:02 PM

    He is right The average base salary was $990,000

  43. dcninerfan says: Feb 19, 2011 3:41 PM

    “He’s right, and given the average length of an NFL career and the habit of many players to spend to the limits of their income, not many have a seven-figure net worth.”

    Can’t blame anyone but themselves for poor lifestyle choices and improper investment of their gains. Look at players like Young (Steve, not Vince), who instead of living the massive, opulent, “bling” if you will, lifestyle, he invested and used his intelligence with his money. They guy is a near billionaire now.

  44. db105 says: Feb 19, 2011 6:13 PM

    Poor basic math skills and with an irrational mind is a bad combination.

  45. richc111 says: Feb 19, 2011 10:26 PM

    Here are the salaries as reported by the USA Today for the 2009 Atlanta Falcons.

    PLAYER SALARY
    White, Roddy $12,007,280
    Ryan, Matt $7,907,280
    Babineaux, Jonathan $6,007,280
    Baker, Sam $5,127,280
    Abraham, John $5,007,280
    Davis, Chauncey $5,007,280
    Gonzalez, Tony $4,507,280
    Jenkins, Michael $4,507,280
    Peterson, Mike $3,507,280
    Mughelli, Ovie $2,507,280
    Koenen, Michael $2,490,280
    Peelle, Justin $2,287,280
    Redman, Chris $1,757,280
    Elam, Jason $1,707,280
    Williams, Brian (CB) $1,600,000
    Clabo, Tyson $1,552,280
    Dahl, Harvey $1,552,280
    Moore, William $1,410,000
    McClure, Todd $1,407,280
    Booker, Marty $1,400,000
    Coleman, Erik $1,257,280
    Jerry, Peria $1,200,000
    Romberg, Brett $1,057,280
    Hill, Tye $1,044,280
    Finneran, Brian $1,007,280
    Turner, Michael $1,007,280
    Owens, Christopher $998,702
    Wire, Coy $877,280
    Schneck, Mike $852,280
    Anderson, Jamaal $773,530
    Sidbury, Lawrence $754,900
    Gilbert, Tony $667,280
    Haynes, Verron $624,680
    Norwood, Jerious $542,280
    Ojinnaka, Quinn $542,280
    Svitek, Will $542,280
    Fudge, Jamaal $535,000
    Reynolds, Garrett $490,600
    Blalock, Justin $467,280
    Harris, Antoine $467,280
    Houston, Chris $467,280
    Johnson, Thomas $467,280
    Lewis, Trey $467,280
    Nicholas, Stephen $467,280
    Snelling, Jason $467,280
    Lofton, Curtis $452,280
    Biermann, Kroy $392,280
    DeCoud, Thomas $392,280
    Douglas, Harry $392,280
    Grimes, Brent $392,280
    Jackson, Chevis $392,280
    Weems, Eric $392,280
    Wilson, John $327,500
    Zinger, Keith $317,280
    Walker, Vance $310,000

    Average Salary $1,728,417

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