When Athletes Go Broke

This week’s 30 for 30 reaction is looking at Broke, the documentary that looks at why athletes are going broke after they retire. I will admit that at certain times in this documentary I had Good Charlotte’s “Lifestyles of the Rich & the Famous” playing in my head for some odd reason.

I think before you go watch this documentary, you should put yourselves in their shoes. What would you do if you suddenly were given large amounts of money? I know I have a list of things I would do if I were suddenly to win the lottery & for these athletes signing a major league contract is just like winning the lottery.

Of course there are some parts of the documentary that I found myself scoffing at, case in the point the part where kids and child support are brought up. I can easily feel sorry for a professional athlete who gives too much to his “family” but you can for sure control how many kids you have. So if you don’t want to go broke from paying child support after retirement, how about you do father a bunch of kids with different woman.

There’s also the issue of woman that only date/marry these athletes when they are rich to then leave them after they retire and the money stops coming. Wouldn’t you think that someone in these guys camps might force the issue of a prenup? The whole point of a prenup is to ensure that if it all goes south, both parties are covered. Even if you are 100% sure that you are going to make this marriage stick, I still think signing one is a really good idea.

The documentary also brings up the issue of players supporting their family, including aunts/uncles/cousins/friends and this is the part where I had to stop and really think. I have always made sure to take care of my family when I could because that’s what family does. But I realized that I would actually draw the line at financially supporting them for a long period of time. I have no problem helping them get back on their feet and making sure they can take care of themselves, but I don’t think that supporting them without an end date is fair. There’s a huge difference between someone asking for help and them just taking advantage.

I think this documentary should be shown to athletes entering into the major leagues and more should be done to help athletes learn how to manage large sums of money, how to invest, and ensure that they have money set aside for retirement. I know rookies in the NFL attain a boot camp of sorts that teaches them money management, but I highly doubt they cover all the different types of situations these players are going to face.

Ultimately, I want to feel bad for these guys I really do. If I were in their shoes I don’t know if I would able to not buy the flashiest car I could or everything I have ever wanted to own. But still they don’t need to buy so many cars, have so many kids with different woman, and support so many people. It’s completely okay for athletes to put their foot down and say no. They’ve worked too hard for that money to go broke once they retire.

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