Professional athletes are often regarded as selfish, greedy, and out-of-touch with regular people. They hire agents who are vilified for negotiating employment contracts that occasionally yield compensation in excess of national gross domestic products. Professional athletes are thus commonly assumed to most value economic remuneration, rather than the love of the game or some other intangible, romanticized inclination.
Lending credibility to this intuition is the rational actor model, a law and economic precept which presupposes that when individuals are presented with a set of choices, they rationally weigh costs and benefits, and select the course of action that maximizes their wealth, happiness, or satisfaction. Since athletes are generally presumed to most value financial compensation, they simply behave rationally by selecting the most lucrative offer.