X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

Clubhouse Random Sports News

15 Professional Athletes Who Abuse Their Elevated Status

15 Professional Athletes Who Abuse Their Elevated Status

15 Professional Athletes Who Abuse Their Elevated Status
Ethan Miller/Staff (Getty Images)

Many people across the world can only dream of what it would be like to be a professional athlete. All the fame, partying and, of course, money. At the end of the day, these athletes see more income than anyone can fathom With all this income earned by playing a sport they love, temptations are literally everywhere.

Take a look at 15 professional athletes who have abused their elevated status by not knowing when to stop.

15. Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor
Stephen Dunn/Staff (Getty Images)

15. Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor
Stephen Dunn/Staff (Getty Images)

Lawrence Taylor will always be known as one of the greatest players to ever play linebacker, but just couldn't handle all the enormous amounts of money that came his way. His controversial lifestyle involved failing numerous drug tests by the NFL and admitted his expensive addictions to cocaine.

He should just stick to playing as himself in Madden Ultimate Team on Playstation 4.

14. Antoine Walker

Antoine Walker
Rocky Widner/Contributor (Getty Images)

14. Antoine Walker

Antoine Walker
Rocky Widner/Contributor (Getty Images)

Antoine Walker made more than $110 million over his NBA career, and blew it all away due to a gambling addiction in casinos. He also went on a spending spree buying homes for no reason other than showing off. He ended up going bankrupt since he couldn't continue paying for the 14 residential homes that banks foreclosed on. One would think you'd stop buying homes like pieces of fruit once you found a nice, big one.

13. Lenny Dykstra

Lenny Dykstra
Getty Images

13. Lenny Dykstra

Lenny Dykstra
Getty Images

Baseball legend Lenny Dykstra was amazing on the field, but didn't know how to control his credit card debt. Owing more than $30 million to creditors, Dykstra also wasted more than million on purchasing the former home of Wayne Gretzky, which got foreclosed on. Why would he waste so much money on a house? To do what? Dress up as a hockey player to give out candy during Halloween?

12. Sheryl Swoopes

Sheryl Swoopes
Terrence Vaccaro/Contributor (Getty Images)

12. Sheryl Swoopes

Sheryl Swoopes
Terrence Vaccaro/Contributor (Getty Images)

Due to a huge endorsement deal with Nike, Sheryl Swoopes earned more than $50 million in her basketball career. She lived a lavish lifestyle to the point where she went bankrupt since she enjoyed a tremendous amount of shoe shopping. She also splurged on purchasing the most expensive clothes money can buy.

Swoopes should have just stuck to a few pairs of Nike shoes, instead of the entire Fall collection.

11. Latrell Sprewell

Latrell Sprewell
Rocky Widner/Contributor (Getty Images)

11. Latrell Sprewell

Latrell Sprewell
Rocky Widner/Contributor (Getty Images)

Latrell Sprewell truly abused his elevated status when he turned down a three-year, $21 million contract, claiming he had a family to feed. It didn't end there either, as both his homes foreclosed and he was sued for owing more than $200 million in child support. He also lost his 70-foot yacht, as it got repossessed. Sprewell should have taken care of his family rather than going fishing.

10. Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield
Stuart C. Wilson/Stringer (Getty Images)

10. Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield
Stuart C. Wilson/Stringer (Getty Images)

Evander Holyfield earned more than $250 million during his professional boxing career, but didn't know how to manage his finances well. Having a foreclosed home and getting sued for lack of child support, Holyfield eventually had to start acting like a responsible adult. He has 11 children; one would think he would have rather spent his money on college funds for their futures instead of living a lavish lifestyle.

9. John Daly

John Daly
Scott Halleran/Staff (Getty Images)

9. John Daly

John Daly
Scott Halleran/Staff (Getty Images)

Professional golfer John Daly had a major gambling problem that eventually led to a drinking problem as well. He once lost more than $1 million in less than five hours at a casino. Next time, he would be well advised to hit the nickel machines instead of the poker tables.

8. Michael Vick

Michael Vick
Justin Edmonds/Stringer (Getty Images)

8. Michael Vick

Michael Vick
Justin Edmonds/Stringer (Getty Images)

Michael Vick had it all at one point in his career. He was making millions with the Atlanta Falcons and even more in endorsements. Vick used his endless supply of money to fund an illegal dog-fighting operation that saw him land in jail and lose it all. He lost more than $150 million from his contract being terminated and all those endorsement deals being dropped.

Vick has been trying to redeem himself after serving his sentence.

7. Mark Brunell

Mark Brunell
Jeff Zelevansky/Stringer (Getty Images)

7. Mark Brunell

Mark Brunell
Jeff Zelevansky/Stringer (Getty Images)

Quarterback Mark Brunell made more than $50 million in his salary with the NFL, but abused his elevated status as a prolific passer by recklessly wasting his money. He spent more than half his earnings in real estate "investments" that ended up being fraudulent, which caused him to land in bankruptcy. Hopefully Brunell learned that next time, he should build miniature wood houses instead of investing in those kind of schemes.

6. Jack Clark

Jack Clark Yankees
Getty Images

6. Jack Clark

Jack Clark Yankees
Getty Images

“Jack the Ripper” played for five MLB teams between 1975 and 1992, so you’d think financially he’d be doing just fine. During his second season with the Red Sox in 1992, he declared bankruptcy, listing debts of almost $7 million. When he listed his assets in filing, he cited 18 luxury cars. Apparently, Clark quickly got bored with the cars he’d buy and would replace them with new ones before paying them all off.

5. Derrick Coleman

New Jersey Nets Derrick Coleman
Getty Images

5. Derrick Coleman

New Jersey Nets Derrick Coleman
Getty Images

The New Jersey Nets selected Coleman with the first pick in the 1990 NBA Draft. While his career got off to a promising start, including a Rookie of the Year Award, Coleman soon after began abusing alcohol, gained weight, and frequently missed games with injuries. Coleman earned $87 million over his 15-year career, but still filed for bankruptcy in March 2010.

4. Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson
Getty Images

4. Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson
Getty Images

Between salary and endorsements, Iverson earned over $200 million dollars over his NBA career. That’s why it was shocking when he was seen begging for change outside of a mall in Atlanta in August 2014. Iverson blew through his money at an alarming rate on expensive cars, gaudy jewelry, and other unnecessary purchases. During his divorce proceedings in 2012, he told the judge, “I don’t even have money for a cheeseburger.”

3. Johnny Unitas

Johnny Unitas
Getty Images

3. Johnny Unitas

Johnny Unitas
Getty Images

His career spanned three decades and saw him set record after record, including three MVP Awards, but sadly, Johnny Unitas was forced into bankruptcy in 1991 as a result of $4 million in unpaid loans. One of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, Unitas attempted to parlay his earnings into business moves that never paid off, such as restaurants, real estate, and bowling alleys.

2. Travis Henry

Travis Henry Denver Broncos
Getty Images

2. Travis Henry

Travis Henry Denver Broncos
Getty Images

The former Bills and Broncos running back is best known as the man who has 11 kids with 10 different women. In addition to having to support his children, Henry had a serious drug problem and went deep into debt. Topping it off, Henry lost a $25 million contract with the Broncos when he was arrested for drug trafficking.

1. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
Ethan Miller/Staff (Getty Images)

1. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson
Ethan Miller/Staff (Getty Images)

Who takes the cake as the No. 1 athlete to abuse their elevated status? None other than professional boxer Mike Tyson!

Tyson easily earned more than $400 million in his boxing career, but lost it all due to expensive divorce settlements in two failed marriages. He used his fame to live a crazy lifestyle of splurging on jewelry, clothing and drugs. What was the most expensive item he wasted money carelessly on? A $2 million dollar bathtub...