Equality in Professional Sports

Robert MacDonaldContributor IMarch 12, 2010

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 20:  Tracy McGrady #3 of the New York Knicks smiles after making a basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden on February 20, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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Lately I've been thinking about how "unfair" some sports are. I think a salary cap and salary floor, should be a must in every sport. I think all sports should have non-guaranteed contracts like the NFL. Also, I think there should be a rookie cap, comparable from sport to sport.

The purpose behind a salary cap is pretty obvious, level the playing field. Not to say you can't field a winning team spending the least money out every team, but odds are against you. I don't fault the Yankees for having $200 million to spend on player salaries, but it's not reasonable for another team to get away with a team salary less than $50 million. Either bring the Yankees down, or bring the Marlins and Pirates up.

Trying to keep up with with the Yankees and Red Sox might cause some teams to have to fold. Nobody really wants to see any teams out of business, but isn't not competing just as bad?

The NFL players play for non-guaranteed contracts, with a certain amount of money guaranteed. That would make things more fair across the board. Rather than NBA teams having to work out buyouts, pay your player the guaranteed amount and release him. This would eliminate situations like the Tracy McGrady situation and the Magglio Ordonez situation in baseball.

If a guy wants to play, and he is either too expensive or doesn't fit your plans, let him go. Granted the Tigers let Ordonez reach the at-bats number to guarantee his contract this year, but it's safe to say everyone knows he's not worthy of his contract.

A rookie cap across the board would make a lot of sense. I realize its not realistic to expect all of our major sports to collaborate on this, but hear me out. If you're a basketball player and a football player, you like one sport more but can make more money at the other, what are you going to do?

Rookie contracts in baseball, basketball, and hockey are somewhat reasonable in comparison to the NFL. A rookie shouldn't come into the league in the top 10 in salary for their position, let alone make the most. I believe Eric Berry will be a great NFL player, but if he's drafted top-five he'll make more money than perennial Pro Bowl caliber players.

I realize I've only came up with ideas, not solutions. Some of my ideas probably aren't very feasible. Then again, I don't think anyone is worth $1 million dollars. Nor do I think anyone should make more money than our police officers, fire fighters, or school teachers.

Questions? Concerns? Comments?