Tiger Woods isn’t the top-earning U.S. athlete for the first time since Sports Illustrated started its annual ranking in 2004, having been passed by boxer Floyd Mayweather and fellow golfer Phil Mickelson.
Mayweather, who is serving a three-month jail sentence in Las Vegas after pleading guilty to domestic battery charges against a former girlfriend, made $85 million in the past year from world title fights against Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto. He ranks No. 1 on SI.com’s “Fortunate 50” list, even with no earnings from endorsements.
Mayweather, 35, is followed by Mickelson, who earned almost $60.8 million, with $57 million of that coming from endorsement and sponsorship deals. Mickelson, 42, also was second in last year’s SI ranking of top-earning athletes.
Woods, 36, slipped to third after his total earnings for 2011 fell to $56.4 million, the lowest it’s been since SI.com started the “Fortunate 50” eight years ago. Woods, who didn’t capture an official U.S. PGA Tour title in 2011, had $1.9 million in winnings and received another $54.5 million in endorsement income, down $5 million from the previous year.
SI.com’s rankings used the 2011 calendar year for winnings- based sports such as golf, auto racing and tennis, while boxing purses are from June 2011 through May 2012. For sports such as football, basketball, baseball and hockey, salary figures from the current or most recently completed season are used. As a result, a player such as Drew Brees -- who signed a $100 million contract with the New Orleans Saints earlier this week -- isn’t included on the list.
Kobe Bryant of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers ranks fourth among the top-earning U.S. athletes with $48.3 million in earnings, followed by LeBron James of the Miami Heat at $45.9 million.
Two players from Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees rank in the top 10: Alex Rodriguez at No. 6 with $33.5 million and Derek Jeter at No. 9 with $27.7 million.
Quarterback Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos is the highest-earning National Football League player, ranking seventh on the SI.com list at $31 million. He’s followed by Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. with $28.2 million in salary and endorsements. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald rounds out the top 10 at $26.8 million.
The Fortunate 50 list features 19 baseball players, 13 basketball players, 11 football players, four Nascar drivers, two golfers and Mayweather as the lone boxer. No female athlete is on the list for the fourth year in a row.
Tennis player Roger Federer tops SI.com’s list of the 20 highest-earning international athletes after making more than $51.4 million.
Soccer players David Beckham, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo occupy the next three spots, with total earnings of $46 million, $41.2 million and $40.2 million, respectively. Tennis player Maria Sharapova ranks 10th with $26.5 million in winnings and endorsements, the only woman to make either list.
To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com