Sports

LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, Canelo Álvarez, Tom Brady and Naomi Osaka among the athletes with the highest income

Which athletes earn the most money? By 2022, it’s Los Angeles Lakers star and media mogul LeBron James, who earned $126.9 million in the past year, according to research by sports business publication Sportico.

James, 37, replaces MMA fighter Conor McGregor in the top spot. James is among 36 NBA players listed in Sportico’s ranking of the 100 highest-earning athletes.

James landed in the top spot after being No. 5 a year ago. He’s also the only American in the top five, though NBA players Stephen Curry ($86.2 million) of the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant ($85.9 million) of the Brooklyn Nets, James Harden ($76 million) of the Philadelphia 76ers, and golfer Tiger Woods ($73.5 million) are in the top 10. Tennis star Naomi Osaka ($53.2 million) is the highest-earning female athlete on the list. Serena Williams ($35.3 million) is the only other female athlete in the top 100.

The Mexican Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez He was No. 5 on the list at $89 million thanks in part to winning the undisputed super middleweight championship in November.

Sportico’s estimates are based on earnings from June 2021 to May 2022 and combine salary and prize money. It also includes incentives and bonuses, along with sponsorships, licenses, royalties, memorabilia and media appearances. Collectively, those in the top 100 combined to earn $4.5 billion in this time period, up 6% from last year.

While 25 players from the NFL, the most popular sport in the United States, are on the list, it is international footballers who find themselves with James in the top 5. Lionel Messi ($122 million), Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million) and Neymar ($103 million) are ranked 2-4, respectively. They are among l13 players on the list. The NFL is second only to the NBA with representatives on the list.

Thanks to a $60 million signing bonus, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is ranked No. 11 and is the highest-ranked player in the NFL. Stafford earned $73.3 million in the last year along with a Super Bowl win. Of all the players in the NFL, 10 are quarterbacks with Josh Allen and Tom Brady in the top 20. A big shout out to Ryan Ramczyk of the New Orleans Saints and Brandon Scherff of the Jacksonville Jaguars for being two well-paid offensive linemen joining the roster this year. Trevor Lawrence ($32.8 million), the 22-year-old Jaguars quarterback ranked 72nd, is the youngest athlete on the list.

Eight teams had three athletes in the top 100: the NBA’s Nets, Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and 76ers; the Buffalo Bills of the NFL; and Paris Saint-Germain of Ligue 1.

Two athletes stood out for going down the list. McGregor, after suffering a broken leg and not fighting since July, dropped from No. 1 to 22. Golfer Phil Mickelson fell from 33 to 44 after losing several sponsors due to controversial comments about the Saudi government.

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