Here's why Wes Welker should give back the $15,000 that Churchill Downs mistakenly overpaid him at the Kentucky Derby:
Because it's the right thing to do.
Nothing more, nothing less. A business gave Welker more money than he earned. He should give it back. Open, shut.
It matters not that the business is a gambling operation. It matters not that any of us can come up with all manner of hypothetical nonsense to defend the definite $15,000 that Welker unfairly kept.
What matters is this: Wes Welker won some money at the Derby. He went to a machine to get his money. The machine gave him his money … and $15,000 extra.
Give it back.
This is a wiring issue for all of us. Either you get the hives if a cashier gives you a nickel too much in return, or you do not. Welker is apparently wired to accept $15,000 that isn't his, leave the track handing out $100's that aren't his -- accepting the adulation of strangers for being such a great guy -- and then mock the very idea, days later, that he should return what was never his.
I don't begrudge professional athletes, or anyone else, their salary. You earn what you earn, and more power to anyone who can earn millions. But I absolutely begrudge a professional athlete who earns millions of dollars every year but can't be bothered to return $15,000 he didn't earn. You know the difference between Jameis Winston and Publix, and Wes Welker and Churchill Downs?
Welker made off with a lot more than Winston did. And Welker collected a $3 million roster bonus in March.