athletes are paid so much for a long time now. Yes, players of professional sports are paid a high premium, but it's not always the fault of the player. Consider the following reasons why many players get paid so much.
An expert in any field demands a high paycheck, and with rarity and scarcity comes higher yields. Much like paying top dollar for a rare car or comic book, players are treated as commodities that are valued in monetary senses. A professional athlete is paid a big amount because they are responsible for putting butts in the seats. If it really is a team sport, why are some players on the worst teams in MLB given such high paycheck? A player that does not work hard is lazy, and lets himself go, ends up getting cut, traded and eventually abandoned from professional sports. There are a lot of mediocre players in professional sports, and guess what? They don't demand a high paycheck. Those that demand and get high pay also perform under high scrutiny, and are required to bring top-tier statistics to the table.