It’s no secret that professional athletes make huge amounts of money. Anyone who follows sports has witnessed countless deals that stretch into the high eight figures and signing bonuses that consist of more money than an entire town could make in a year, collectively. So yes, athletes can usually afford to upgrade a few thousand square feet, to buy a second sports car. However, the reality is that professional athletes have a limited career span. Sure, some in lower impact positions manage to play into their 40s, but retirement is closer to your mid 30s in pro sports, as opposed to mid 60s in the regular career force. So, simply put – if you’re stupid with your money, regardless of how much you make in your prime, it’s going to run out pretty quickly.
ESPN recently made a documentary about the phenomenon of pro athletes blowing away their piles of cash, entitled Broke. The film opens with a sobering stat: “by the time they have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress; within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are broke.” That’s right – despite their multi-million dollar salaries, the majority of players blow their cash trying to paint a certain persona – they throw back expensive champagne, cruise around in luxury cars, wear ridiculous amounts of diamonds, etc. Simply put – they act new money rich.
While there are some athletes who live relatively modest lifestyles and focus their time and money on their families, there are many who seem determined to prove that they can afford anything and everything. They throw money around like it grows on trees and want to draw everyone’s attention to the fact that they’ve made it.
Here are 15 athletes who act new money rich.
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15 Arian Foster
In 2012, running back Arian Foster inked a contract worth $43.5 million. The rookie was generating a lot of buzz but, since he was undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft where he was first assessed, he may have had a bit of a chip on his shoulders. Why do we say that? Well, a couple months after he inked that massive contract, he bought all his offensive linemen a gift. Champagne? Watches? Nope… Foster bought them Segways. A little digging into the motorized machines (which go for several thousand apiece) indicates that the maximum weight limit for a Segway is a good thirty or forty pounds less than what all his offensive buddies weigh. That’s right – he spent around $70,000 on gifts for his teammates that they probably couldn’t even use. In theory, it’s a really sweet gesture. In practice? He may as well have just given them envelopes full of cash saying ‘look at me, I can afford to get nice gifts thanks to my sweet new contract.’
14 Tiger Woods
Perhaps due to the fact that Woods was in one of the least sexy professional sports (let’s face it – there just aren’t as many PGA groupies as NBA groupies, partly because the average age in the PGA is about sixty) he seemed to want everyone to know he had a balling lifestyle. He bought a $40 million dollar property and immediately tore it down, tossing $20 million away on constructing a new and improved mansion. He added a golf course, and two boat docks – after all, he needed a place to park his 155 foot yacht, Privacy. Come on, Tiger, you’re not fooling anyone – a 155 foot yacht pretty much screams ‘notice me.’ And then there’s the women - no gentleman would give up a marriage to a sexy former supermodel for a series of affairs with less-than-classy ladies. Woods craves attention in whatever way he can get it, and he often gets it by blowing dollar bills.
13 Cristiano Ronaldo
Many pro athletes go around in workout wear and sneakers, but not Ronaldo. This soccer superstar is known for his sense of style – and he definitely seems to subscribe to the ‘more is better’ camp. No outlets for this star – he wants name brands, and he wants them conspicuously displayed. He wants the diamonds in his ears to sparkle in the sunlight. He wants everyone to notice his expensive cars, his luxury digs, the sexy women he surrounds himself with, etc, etc. This Portuguese prince definitely doesn’t do anything subtly. He wants everything he owns to scream money – and that’s why, despite having a totally astronomical salary, he still always looks like he’s trying too hard
12 Gilbert Arenas
First of all, while he’s still playing professional basketball, Arenas isn’t even suiting up in the NBA anymore – he’s over in China, having been relegated to the Chinese Basketball Association. It makes his attempts at a ballin’ new money lifestyle even worse. So what has Arenas thrown away his money on? Everything from five figure train sets to hundreds on groceries every single week to extensive (and expensive) landscaping for his mansion. The cherry on top of his nouveau riche sundae, though? The man installed a shark tank. In his home. It used to cost him more per month to feed his sharks than most people make in a month. The fact that he went on to play with the Shanghai Sharks is… kind of hilariously ironic.
11 Alfonso Soriano
Many athletes treat themselves to a luxury car at some point in their career – it’s a huge status symbol and for many pro athletes who grew up admiring cars, it’s a big deal. However, there are luxury cars which are expensive due to impeccably craftsmanship, and then there are expensive cars that are just stupid. Soriano owns one of the latter. The recently retired pro baseball player bought a brand new Hummer H2 back in 2005, which is estimated to cost upwards of $50,000. Pricy, yes, but nothing compared to some of the Italian sports cars. However, he then proceeded to sink over $100,000 into customizing it. His choices quickly had everyone who saw the car making fun of it – the man put a wall of speakers on the back that meant you couldn’t see through the back mirror. You know what they say – it costs a lot of money to look this cheap.
10 Chad Johnson
Johnson is currently on the roster of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, but back in the day he was balling in the NFL as Ochocinco. During his peak years, he gifted himself what he called a “super truck.” It’s an extremely weird looking vehicle, but similar models clock in anywhere from $90,000 to $115,000, so it’s safe to say he spent a fair chunk of change on the vehicle. To add to that, he had it customized – and, as we’ve seen with Alfonso Soriano’s nightmare, customization can be enormously expensive. The feather in Johnson’s new money cap is the fact that the “super” truck was apparently super bad on mileage – the type of truck that he treated himself with only gets around 7 miles per gallon of gas. He may as well have painted a dollar sign on the gas cap.
9 Bryant McKinnie
Pro athletes like to party, it’s no secret – after all, if you were a young, single guy with groupies throwing themselves at you and fans worshipping the ground you walk on, it’s easy to feel like you’re the king of the club. Former offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie definitely wanted everyone to take notice of him at an NBA All-Star Kick Off Party, where there were likely countless pro athletes in attendance. How did he draw attention to himself and his wealth? Ordering countless bottles of expensive champagne, including bottles so large that – apparently – the entire club turned to stare as they were brought to Bryant’s table. A bar tab over 100k? That’s a man who wants attention, and wants it desperately.
8 Mike Tyson
Oh, Mike Tyson and the white tigers. It’s a thing of legend. Tyson was definitely known for his larger than life personality, something that’s indispensable in an individual sport like boxing. After all, whether they loved him or hated him, pretty much everyone remembers him. He’s since proven to be less than wise with his money (hello, bankruptcy!) but, in his prime earning years, he was making the big bucks and wanted everyone to know it. So, he blew over 100 grand on three white tigers, which then required tens of hundreds of thousands to care for every year. He also bought his first wife a $2 million bath tub, and let’s be honest – you know that he got stacks of cash and, at some point, took a money bath in his wife’s pricey tub.
7 Eddy Curry
Professional athletes can rack up a lot of expenses, but the majority of them are somewhat understandable. Thanks to their much higher than average salaries, they can afford to buy a few more items of designer clothing and perhaps to purchase a mansion rather than a modest family home. However, in Eddy Curry’s case, his monthly splurge is so baffling that you have to wonder how he even did it. Apparently, the since-broke star used to pay over $1,000 a month… for his cable and satellite bill. How many channels did he have? What was he even watching? How on earth do you rack up a grand a month in cable? Eddy, we have so many questions.
6 Marquis Daniels
Everyone knows that ballers love bling and countless NBA stars commission custom necklaces to wear as they strut their stuff around town, showing off for groupies and drinking expensive champagne. However, Daniels took it to another level. He commissioned a jeweller to make a lavish necklace with 1300 grams of diamonds and gold. Was it a simple chain? Nope – it was a miniature version of himself, on white gold chains. Complete with diamond chains for his hair. It’s a piece so utterly ridiculous and egotistic that you almost have to question the jeweller who agreed to make it.
5 Antoine Walker
All the young professional athletes getting their first big paychecks need to take a look at former baller Antoine Walker. He was making huge amounts of money in his prime, but he was also constantly showing off his wealth and maintaining a high-rolling lifestyle. He threw away cash on cars, real estate, gambling with other pro athletes, and of course, a huge entourage. He basically destroyed his future finances just so he could live a lifestyle he couldn’t afford. Note to all the young athletes – just because you’re making millions doesn’t mean you can immediately spend them all. That’s not a right of passage – that’s how you go broke.
4 Jarrett Jack
Countless female celebrities get attention for their gigantic closets filled with endless pairs of designer shoes, but you might be surprised to find out that basketball player Jarrett Jack has something in common with Carrie Bradshaw. That’s right – he has a bit of a thing for shoes, and owns over 1,500 pairs of sneakers. Individuals with old money often wear the same high-quality items for years – while it may have cost them a fortune, it becomes a piece they wear over and over again. Jack’s shoe collection is the ultimate new money fashion move – he could quite literally wear different shoes every day for several years with no repeats.
3 Danny Granger
Countless athletes spend the big bucks to customize their cars, but what about customizing their homes? Sure, many install huge garages for their sports cars, or lavish features (shark tank, anyone?), but Granger’s interior design choices take things to a whole new level. He satisfied every comic book lover’s dream by building himself a bat cave. He’d make a poor Batman, though, as he can’t exactly keep his cave a secret – he’s described it extensively, and the custom reno includes a drive-in pathway that lights up as you drive in, and a circle that spins around so you don’t have to back your car out of the garage like a lowly bench warmer.
2 Johnny Manziel
Johnny Football is constantly seen partying with celebrities and basically making a huge deal about who he is, so it should come as no surprise that he earns a spot on this list. He’s made countless obnoxious comments and gestures before, but a particular Instagram video post really takes the cake. In the post, Manziel is making a fake call. Innocuous enough, right? Maybe, if it weren’t for the fact that he was pretending to ‘call’ on a huge wad of bills. You can easily imagine the conversation from Manziel’s part – “I make so much money that I can literally just use it as an accessory! Hey, are you taking a video? Awesome. This will really portray me in a good light. Hey, get Drake on the line. Started from the bottom now we here, right brother?!”
1 Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Oh, Floyd. Floyd, Floyd, Floyd. What hasn’t he done in his endless quest to prove to the world that he makes a ton of dough. A big collection of expensive watches? Check. Making million dollar bets, and then proving those bets by posting a shot of your receipt? Check. Posing with a rapper alongside stacks of cash? Wrapping your headphones around a stack of bills? Gifting your lady friend a diamond necklace with a value in the seven digits? Check, check, and check. Literally everything Mayweather does is designed to show off how much money he’s raking in. Hey, Floyd, a tip – we don’t need to see all the receipts. You make a lot of money, we believe you. You’re trying too hard.
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