An $80,000 salary, by most, is associated with a senior position in a company overseeing the work of subordinates. It requires someone to rise the ranks and commit themselves to excel in their field and outshine those competing for the same title. Maybe this looks like a software engineer repurposing strings of code and creating more efficient data tables. Or perhaps an office employee who works late nights and early mornings to show management their dedication. However, to some, it looks like picking up a mop.
The profitable nature of professional sports doesn’t just apply to the players. It trickles down to the rest of the staff as well. Most notably, the janitorial staff that you see hurriedly mopping the court as the players sprint to the opposite side. According to Basketball Noise, a blog that discusses interesting basketball facts, the “mop boy,” professionally known as the NBA Court Cleaner, earns an average of $80,000 annually. The range varies from $60,000 to $90,000, depending on the team that employs the court cleaner. Unsurprisingly, this position is highly competitive and requires a stand-out candidate to land the job as there is a minimal number of possible openings at any given time.
So what exactly does the mop boy do? According to Basketball Noise, a mop boy’s primary responsibilities are to clean the dirt and sweat from the floor along with any debris that may make its way to the center stage without interfering in the play of the game. Furthermore, when there are breaks between quarters, mop boys must clean the court very quickly as they have minimal time to perform this essential task. Since the pandemic, those fortunate enough to hold this position have an increased responsibility to ensure that the safety and hygiene requirements on the court are met.
The world of sports is as fascinating as it is entertaining. With janitorial staff making near six-figure salaries and effectively always getting courtside seats as an added perk to games where tickets can sometimes go for over $1,000, it is abundantly clear who wins on the court every time. It certainly is not the players.
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