Warren Sapp was one of the most terrifying sights in the NFL when he played. He was quick enough to shoot the gaps between the offensive linemen and was also strong enough to overpower them as well.
Sapp made roughly $40 million in his NFL career. He seemed to be doing well as an analyst on the NFL Network and on Inside the NFL. But few knew the financial bind that Sapp was in.
Sapp just recently filed bankruptcy. It seems like after the big checks stopped rolling in, maybe he didnâ€˜t adjust his lifestyle. It makes you wonder what he was spending his money on that caused him to end up in this predicament.
Sapp isnâ€™t the only professional athlete this has happened to and he more than likely will not be the last. Professional athletes have been living extravagantly for years, only to have the walls come tumbling down due to IRS issues or not being able to afford their lavish lifestyles. The numbers fall between 60 – 80% in regards to NBA and NFL players that file bankruptcy five years after they retire. What this all points to, in my opinion, is a serious money management issue. But there are many things that can lead to the mismanagement of funds by these athletes.
Athletes live and dream to one day be in a position where they can make life better for themselves and others. But sometimes, making life better for everyone around you is not the best decision.Â The first thing that most athletes do when they make it is, of course, take care of their families. But in some instances, taking care of too many people can be fatal to your career.
You have to set parameters as to what you can and cannot do. Not every family member is around you to help you be successful. Unfortunately, some family members mooch off of you and will take as much as possible if you are not careful. I know that in this instance it can be hard, but saying â€œnoâ€ has to be done for the financial well-being of yourself first sometimes. After all, if you go broke, do you think that some of those family members that never came around but surfaced when you made it will still be there? I highly doubt it.
Magic Johnson has been one of the most successful athletes-turned-businessmen of my lifetime. He parlayed his success in the NBA into business success. Most recently, he was part of the group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers at a record price of $2.15 billion.
Magic was in position to do this due to his business savvy and the millions he has made in his many different entrepreneurial endeavors. Unfortunately, many professional athletes arenâ€™t as savvy in the business world. Some look at the money they are making in the present and think that it will carry them in their future. But what they fail to realize is that their careers are pretty short in comparison to the lifespan of an everyday person who works for 25-30 years. You cannot play forever and a thriving business could keep a steady income coming in your pocket.
The key to business success is taking smart risks. Even in doing business, athletes must know what they are getting into. If they arenâ€™t careful, they could end up losing more than what they invested in the business. A perfect example of that is former NBA power forward Antoine Walker. He invested in a few things through a business partner. He trusted what his business partner was telling him and never took the time to educate himself on the details. As a result, Walker lost tons of money in those deals and that, along with his lavish spending, caused him to head towards bankruptcy fast.
I hope that a lot of athletes are paying attention to what Sapp is about to go through. From $40 million to literally nothing just like that. And I hope that they see this as a cautionary tale that blowing money fast doesnâ€™t exactly make you any more popular, it just leads you closer and closer to bankruptcy. And thatâ€™s not a place anyone wants to be. Break the trend, please, athletes. And be smarter with your money.
If you have any sports questions or need any sports information, feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@General_MP).
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