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NFL Players And Money
One of the questions people always ask me about being an NFL player is “what’s it like to make so much money so young?”
I have to say that it is very difficult to go from being young and having no money to being young and a millionaire because you don’t know how to be financially responsible. It’s like winning the lottery, and as you know from reading about lottery winners, most lottery winners go broke within 10 years of winning the lottery. Well, it’s not much different with professional athletes. The reason for this is that most professional athletes and lottery winners were never taught money management skills. Going from broke one day to a millionaire the next is a big change in your life, mainly because once you have money, everyone wants you to give it to them, and most of the time you do.
I come from a single-family home with no father, which is something a lot of professional NFL players have in common. I am also African American and my family did not have a lot of money, which is also very common among NFL players. Because of this, I was never taught how to manage money responsibly and plan for my future. I went from being broke one day to being drafted into the NFL and becoming a millionaire.
A big problem with being young and having a lot of money is the pressure from almost everyone, including other players, to spend a lot of money very quickly. When you are rich, everyone wants your money, especially your family and friends. My mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc. everyone wanted to borrow money from me. And of course I gave it to them. Then you have girlfriends and wives who want you to buy them a lot of expensive gifts like cars, jewelry and clothes because you are rich and they want to show it off to their friends. There are also charities, investors and business people asking for your money, and you end up giving it to them.
But possibly worst of all are the other players because when it comes to money it’s the blind that leads the blind. We all spend our money like it will never run out because we are not educated in financial responsibility. For example, to be cool and respected by the other players, you have to keep up with them. So if a player buys a new SUV, you’ll want to buy one too. I mean, you can’t be an NFL player and drive a normal car like a Honda Civic. You have to drive an expensive Hummer, Cadillac Escapade, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, etc.
You also have to have a huge and expensive house. All the other gamers do and if you live in an average house they look down on you. So, we spend a fortune buying huge houses for ourselves and our parents that we don’t need. And of course there is the jewelry. We spend so much money on jewelry it’s crazy. It’s nothing for a player to spend $100,000 a year or more buying jewelry, and that’s just us. That doesn’t include all the jewelry we buy for our family, wives, and girlfriends. It’s all very irresponsible. But, when you have so many people putting pressure on you every day to buy stuff and keep up with the other NFL players, it becomes a lot easier to say yes than no, even while watching all your money disappear.
Another problem is that as a wealthy NFL player, you are expected to pick up the tab for everything. Every time you go to a restaurant, you are the person paying for everyone. And, when you go out with other players or your friends, it’s always to a fancy club where we go to the VIP section and spend thousands of dollars on champagne and fancy drinks, for everyone. I have known players who have spent over $25,000 in one night at a club. And then they go and do it over and over again so they can be the “big man.”
Another problem NFL players have is women who are after us for our money and status. And many of these women are gold diggers. If we weren’t rich athletes, these beautiful women probably wouldn’t give us a second look. But now that we’re rich and famous, women are constantly chasing us. This almost always leads us to marry a woman we shouldn’t be marrying and then get divorced after a couple of years and lose a large percentage of our money in the divorce. I made this mistake myself and it cost me dearly and still costs me.
In short, being a rich athlete is much more difficult than people think because there is a lot of pressure on us to spend our money as quickly as possible. Money magnifies problems, it doesn’t eliminate them like most people think it does.
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