I think it is an age thing. Young people today have such distorted values they can even find fault with players doing what they are supposed to do. Or in MTF, they more probably think the players should have some higher purpose so that they can satisfy the need for idol worship. That's nonsense. To the players it is a job - and who doesn't want the highest salary available? How many people complaining here would say at work 'No, I don't want a Year End bonus, give it to someone else?"
I think you may well be spot-on, indeed.
It's a 'free market'-culture, whether you like it or not.
(in fact: I don't, but that's my personal opinion
I myself find a sub-top player's decision to play a challenger rather than to chose playing a higher-ranked tournament with his chances to bolt out in the first round, a lot more sensible, but perhaps it's just me.
It's a Vulture's World, nowadays, folks.