Top 15 Incredibly Stupid Mistakes That Cost Athletes Millions

It’s often argued that professional athletes get paid way too much money, considering that their only professional responsibilities are to play games for a living. True the money could go to better uses or be used on different professions such as doctors who often handle human lives on a day to day basis. But this is the way society works and if someone’s able to put up big numbers, they get the big bucks. And often times, big companies will seek these players out, promising huge contracts to use them in advertisements. However, players can lose all this money just as easily as they made it.

These guys are as human as everyone else. They’re prone to making bad choices. Be it a business venture, lavish spending spree or legal trouble, lots of players lose a lot of money both during their playing careers and in retirement. It’s surprising to us because we can’t even begin to imagine how we’d spend this kind of cash if we had it. Meanwhile you’ve got some athletes declaring bankruptcy while others look to be on their way after spending millions on useless nothings. It might not seem like it if you’re making as much as everyone else, but the money can go real fast when there’s too much of it.

So who is to blame for all these now down on their luck superstars, some of whom with next to nothing to their names? Themselves of course. Poor money management along with bad decisions are costly. But getting in trouble with the law or breaking league rules can be even worse. Terminated contracts and endorsements are the quickest ways for players to lose cash that was never even there. It’s these athletes jobs to keep their images clean. Basically, if you’re a multi-million dollar pro athlete then don’t do anything stupid in the heat of the moment. Otherwise you’ll end up like some of these poor schlubs.

15 Vin Baker


14 Latrell Sprewell


13 Tarell Brown

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

12 Plaxico Burress

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

11 John Daly

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

10 Marquis Daniels


9 Floyd Mayweather

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

8 Aaron Hernandez

The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

7 Michael Vick

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

6 Mike Richards

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

5 Javaris Crittenton


4 Jason Pierre-Paul

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

3 Kobe Bryant

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2 Ray Rice

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

1 Tiger Woods

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

What is it about fame and money that make people do stupid things? Tiger Woods was hands down the world’s most recognizable golfer. Yet his achievements are now overshadowed by a sex scandal that saw him sleep with a handful of women while being married and supporting two children. It all started in 2009 after an incident involving his wife and his busted up car brought into question his integrity. The flood gates just opened up from there and Woods lost sponsor after sponsor. Accenture, Gatorade, AT&T, Tag Heuer, Gillette and General Motors all dropped him costing Woods an estimated $23 million in 2010 alone. On top of that, when his then-wife divorced him, he reportedly gave her $100 million. That's quite a chunk of change to lose all at once.

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Top 15 Incredibly Stupid Mistakes That Cost Athletes Millions