Don’t Work in Sports.
You. Yes you. You probably clicked on this article because you sensed controversy, and as an American who recently consumed a Trump election that appeals to your psyche.
Don’t work in sports.
Working in or around the athletic industry is one of those mythical goals that many strive for, and few achieve; heck, they have entire job sites and college degrees dedicated to it now. Those who do attain that “dream job” with the other lucky meatheads fall into one of two camps: delusional or prodigy. While Nick Saban, Theo Epstein, and a select few other white males will fall into the latter, the other 90% of the working sports class will undoubtedly live out their careers as underpaid and unsatisfied employees with a ridiculous amount of khakis and polos in their closet.
Sports are lauded as the end all be all, because football is entertaining to watch it must be amazing to work in, right? Wrong. Football is modern slavery, with private companies making billions off of the exploitation of a mostly African-American population’s athletic abilities. I used to make a salary by finding athletic departments that would accept large sums of money, to put their athletes in our apparel, and pay those athletes absolutely nothing.
If you’re still all-in for being a part of sport’s version of “the man”, know that you are participating in a culture set back about 30 years from where the rest of the world is functioning. While start-ups and the tech industry revolutionize what it means to be a worker, and millennials redefine what they need from their leaders, the athletic industry is still moaning about Title IX and asking female athletes who their boyfriend is. I was once told that I was “too pretty” to go on a coaches retreat and stalked by one of my coaches- in both cases my boss laughed at me. I can only imagine what fun racially charged cheers will start sweeping the nation now that the leader and chief is endorsed by the KKK.
Should you be one of the chosen white males who aren’t affected by a Mad Men-esque culture, know that you will never make enough money in sports. Barring an exceptional (read: genius level bordering autism) ability to coach and/or connections with the illuminati, your salary will cap at $45,000 and stay there until you retire and become an usher at every basketball game on campus. In sports more than any other industry, the wage gap between the have’s and the have-nots is monumental. There is no middle manager position for you to settle into and pretend to be happy with your house and kids.
All sexism, racism, and shitty pay aside, you will have no life. Athletics are a 24/7 business and “overtime” is a fancy phrase that your grandparents will tell you legends of. 80-hour workweeks are the norm, and the sports version of work-life balance is getting to spend Christmas with 100 of your closest employees at a bowl game 1000’s of miles away from your family. If having no purpose outside of the menial job you spend time at is your jam, then by all means carry on.
Did I mention: don’t work in sports.