Sport has always entertained and influenced our lives. It creates dreams for children and goals for adults. However, many fans are oblivious to the millions they pocket each year. It is without doubt that our sports stars are grossly overpaid. Their annual earnings exceed those we make in a lifetime, even when compared to highly qualified professions.

Despite the money factor, we sometimes question the values that are emphasized. Sports stars earn substantial incomes compared to an average Australian worker. The official benchmark of average Australian earnings is just above AUS$50,000. However, compared to Layton Hewitt, who receives millions in endorsements and prize money each year, this figure is diminutive. Another example is Venus Williams, 20, is the highest-paid woman athlete in the world. She has a contract with sportswear manufacturer Reebok International Inc. that pays her $40 million over five years.

This may seem as a step forward for womankind but others view it as a business deal for more money than one will ever need. The disparity between hard working citizens and sporting legends leads us to question their contribution to society. Many 'heroes' are created and mostly because of sporting prowess. Yet, there are some things that are more significant that Olympic glory, contract negotiations and the score of the game. Professions that benefit mankind do not receive nearly as much attention or money but remain essential to society. Through a different perspective, it is becomes obvious that doctors and teachers are in fact underpaid.

People who can hit or kick a ball are idolized while others who save lives struggle to gain recognition. What values are we teaching? Or more importantly, not teaching? Sports stars exhibit their talent through winning and rank. However, through success many values are taught. Values such as personal responsibility, integrity and respect for one's self and others are replaced with greed, selfishness and 'I win-you lose' mentality.

It is sad to think that sport and brilliant sport stars will become emblems of greed and selfishness. Traditions and values will no longer remain in significance as there will always be an overemphasis on winning. Sports stars are ridiculously overpaid while other professions remain in obscurity. Values that raise ethical concerns are emphasized and promoted through media. We should enjoy our sport and praise the players but at the same time consider the vast amounts of money their endorsements bring.