The Fortunate 50!

Tiger still on top of the list of highest paid athletes!

You can’t stop them — you can only hope to re-sign them. Extracurricular scandals, contract holdouts and ugly labor negotiations seem to have rocked professional sports more than any other point in recent memory. And yet financially, athletes seem nearly bulletproof.

For the seventh consecutive year, has compiled a list of the 50 top-earning American athletes by salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees. The average earnings of those on the list have reached an all-time high of $26.2 million (up 11 percent from ’09).

In a year in which Tiger Woods’ image has been forever tarnished — costing the perennial No. 1 tens of millions in endorsement dollars — he still stayed ahead of the curve. Tiger’s earnings were down more than $9 million from a year ago, but he still earned nearly $30 million more than the No. 2 athlete, fellow golfer Phil Mickelson.

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