Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Rav Moshe Feinstein: May A Jew Earn A Living As A Professional Athlete?

Someone asked Rav Moshe (Igros Moshe CM 1:104) if it is permissible to play ball professionally given that one in a few thousand people end up in serious Sakana. Rav Moshe answered that it is a gemara mifureshes in Bava Metzia (112) that an employee who picks dates out of a tree puts his life on the line, yet we see it is permitted to earn a living that way. Therefore concludes Rav Moshe that if a profession carries a minimal risk of death it is still permissible.

What about the fact that a a professional athlete may end up killing someone else? Rav Moshe says that if he can work a job that he may kill himself, he may likewise take a job where he may end up killing another person. Killing yourself is also murder, says Rav Moshe. Furthermore, says Rav Moshe, if it were forbidden it would not be permissible for the owner of the date tree to hire someone to pick the dates. However he adds the employer must make the employee fully aware of the risks involved.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha. We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation. Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.