Readers write: Sports salary issues, and just my type of essay

Jacob Turcotte/Staff
Our cover story about sports salaries has readers responding.

Sports salary issues

The May 13 Monitor Weekly cover story, “Do they make too much?” by Phil Taylor, focused on current multimillion-dollar sports salaries. The “Why We Wrote This” explains that the article was written to address the question: “Is this just what the market will bear or are society’s values out of whack?”

While the article purports to engage with that question, it doesn’t adequately do so. Of the different interviews cited in the Monitor article, only two address the “out of whack” issue specifically.

Why We Wrote This

Letters to the editor for the June 3, 2019 weekly magazine.

The first of these two interviews is with an investment adviser, who asserts that because of the way sports now “unify us,” it could be argued that athletes are actually underpaid and that thus their multimillion-dollar salaries are not too high at all. Yet the fact that this man’s livelihood comes from investing the earnings made by players makes his point less than credible.

The second interview addressing the “out of whack” issue is with NFL player Derek Carr, who speaks of some players starting charities to try to correct the “imbalance a little bit” between their salaries and those of most U.S. citizens. This is the one paragraph where the article delivers on its promise in the “Why We Wrote This” statement. In fact, had the entire cover article been about those players and their charities, it would have been much more in line with the Monitor’s approach to highlighting progress.

As it stands, though, this article is a defense of the pursuit of excessive wealth in professional sports. 

Lynn Tarnow
St. Louis 

Just my type of essay

I recently caught up with the March 11 Weekly Print Edition in which Pamela Lewis wrote an entertaining article regarding her mother’s insistence that learning to type was an important life skill (“How I tapped into my success”).

Ms. Lewis’ recollection of her teenage experience brought back my own fond memories of my high school typing class. Even though I do not remember what motivated me to enroll in that course, it turned out to possibly be the most important secondary education subject I studied.

Typing allowed me to succeed in college (Olivetti), in postgraduate studies (Remington), the military (Selectric), and now as a lawyer (computer keyboard).

While I have forgotten almost every fact that was taught me at Miami Senior High, my fingers still remember every required keystroke that makes this letter possible.

Don Slesnick
Coral Gables, Florida

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.