Sports economist David Berri recently asked readers, “What are the worst contracts in sports?” Readers’ responses focused on the the usual suspects in the NBA like Gilbert Arenas, Rashard Lewis and Joe Johnson while Marketwatch.com chose Vincent Lecavalier from the NHL, Javon Walker from the NFL, Barry Zito from MLB and Eddy Curry from the NBA.
As usual, sports fans and bloggers focused their attention on the players at the bottom of the sports pyramid, but like most corporations in America, it all starts with the tone at the top:
TONE AT THE TOP refers to how an organization's leadership creates the tone at the top—an ethical (or unethical) atmosphere in the workplace. Management's tone has a trickle-down effect on employees. If top managers uphold ethics and integrity, so will employees. But if upper management appears unconcerned with ethics and focuses solely on the bottom line, employees will be more prone to commit fraud and feel that ethical conduct isn't a priority. In short, employees will follow the examples of their bosses.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at where the worst contracts in sports trickled down from the commissioners.