I am a devoted Seahawks fan. In 2014, I celebrated along with the whole city as we demolished the Broncos for the championship title. Earlier this year, I felt my heart drop into my stomach when Butler made the interception that cost us our second victory.This season, we haven’t come out as strong with two losses. The story I kept hearing about was the Kam Chancellor hold out. Chancellor didn’t play the first two games in the hopes that the Seahawks would give him more money and renew his contract. Chancellor signed a deal in 2013 worth $35 million over the next five years.
Maybe Chancellor deserves more money, as the NFL is a huge industry worth billions of dollars. But what surprised me the most was how much Chancellor gave up. He lost $1.87 million the moment he didn’t step on the field for week one. And after holding out for a second week, he lost another $267,941. That’s over $2 million for not playing two weeks of football. Let’s keep that number in mind.
Another thing I closely followed, other than the Seahawks, was the strike by the Seattle teachers. These teachers were striking for a lot more than just pay. They were striking for all of us as students, for less testing, more diversity and more fair teacher evaluations. They were also asking for a pay increase–and not one worth millions of dollars. Right now the average salary for Seattle Public School teachers is $50,000. Not millions, just $50,000. They wanted a 14.3% increase over the next three years. This increase isn’t for their lavish lifestyles; this is a bare minimum to live on.
So, we have Kam Chancellor who gave up $2 million for not playing two weeks and is already making $35 million every five years. And we have our teachers who want, among many other things, a 14.3% salary increase over the next three years that’d bring their income to a fraction of a fraction of Chancellor’s. Teaching our next generation or playing a game: that is what we are comparing.
Again, I love the Seahawks and I still watch the games every Sunday whilst wearing my Chancellor jersey. But this disparity doesn’t make any sense. Why does our society prize entertainment so much that huge corporations like the NFL make billions of dollars while teachers fight to get a livable salary? We, as a society, have decided to entertain ourselves rather than educate ourselves. That’s not right. We must realize that entertainment might be more fun for the world, but education will change it.
Featured Photo: What’s more important: this week’s game or this week’s schoolwork? Photo by Aidan Walter