On Tuesday evening, ESPN aired a documentary entitled “Broke” that sought to explain why so many professional athletes lose the millions that they make and are forced to file for bankruptcy years after they retire from pro sports leagues. One surprising takeaway from the sports documentary was a message of personal, fiscal responsibility that not only professional athletes, but young people in general should heed.
The documentary featured commentary from many professional and retired professional athletes, many of whom have fought through and are still dealing with financial woes. For example, former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling, former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury, former NFL offensive lineman Leon Searcy, and former NBA small forward Jamal Mashburn all offer comments and anecdotes about the financial responsibilities thrust on young athletes.
Moreover, the program featured several financial advisors, business analysts, sports and business columnists, and divorce attorneys who share their own stories and opinions on the financial illiteracy of most professional athletes. Most notable perhaps is Michael Vick’s financial advisor Michael Smith, who warns big stars like the NBA’s Lebron James not to “blow it” with outrageous spending.