Division between athlete and celebrity is blurred

Controversies have become the latest thing to hit the sports world. Within the past weeks and months, more often than not, a controversy involving a current or former professional athlete seems to dominate the front pages of sports websites and newspapers more often then a story about games themselves.

But I believe this flare in controversy is part of a larger issue. The salaries of professional athletes continue to rise at astronomical rates. Last month, the Cardinals signed Matt Holliday to a seven-year, $17 million per year deal that keeps Holliday with the Cards until 2016.

Could it be that athletes are so overpaid these days that they have entered the entertainment realm. With salaries so high, athletes can afford to live extravagant lifestyles and now too have paparazzi on their tail at every moment.

Sports stars now also have flings with numerous celebrities. Which affects their play on the field, like Jessica Simpson’s affect on Tony Romo during the 2007 season. Along with the marriage of San Antonio Spur Tony Parker and television star Eva Longoria. The distinction between athlete and celebrity is becoming unrecognizable.

What it boils down to is the fact that athletes are becoming more and more like celebrities. With the high-class lifestyles, poor decision making and ridiculous payrolls, the athletes of today’s sports world are closer to the label of pop culture celebrity than ever before.