Why Athletes Go Broke

How and Why Professional Athletes Go Broke
Michael Collins
COM 156
Julie Taylor

How and Why Professional Athletes Go Broke
Newspapers across the globe have been filled with tales of popular and high-profile professional athletes going bankrupt not long after retirement.   The popular perception among American citizens is professional athletes have access to unlimited funds and will never run out of money. Though many professional athletes make millions of dollars every year, many professional athletes end up bankrupt soon after retiring, if not before. The mere thought of professional athletes spending millions of dollars until they go broke is completely unfathomable to the majority of people in this country that live paycheck to paycheck. However, some athletes lack the necessary maturity and financial literacy to properly save and invest their funds. Bankruptcy among professional athletes is becoming more and more common. Professional athletes are going broke at a rapid rate due to immaturity, lack of financial know-how, and being taken advantage of by family and friends.

There is a popular perception among American citizens that professional athletes have unlimited funds and financial resources and are financially set for life. That is certainly true for a good amount of professional athletes, but there is a sizeable contingent of professional athletes who have gone completely bankrupt and whose lives are either in complete ruin or are well on their way there. It has been said that by the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former National Football League (NFL) players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce. (Torre, 2009) It has also been said that within five years, 60% of National Basketball Association (NBA) players are broke. (Torre, 2009)   Those statistics are utterly shocking to many people who like to think of professional athletes of being made of money. A professional...