When I hear the name Travis Henry there are a few things that come to mind. The word “idiot” is definitely one that pops up early though, long before his 2,800 yards rushed and 23 touchdowns while also getting a Pro Bowl appearance during the 2002-2003 seasons.
For those who do not know his story, Travis Henry was one of the more promising young players in the NFL while with the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans. But, after numerous run-ins with the league and the law concerning marijuana use, Henry was suspended by the NFL in 2008 and was in turn cut by the Denver Broncos.
During his career in the NFL Henry did something else very few other individuals have done in the world; Henry fathered nine children with nine different women. Although he is not quite in Evander Holyfield’s league yet — 11 children.
So, due to poor money management, child support payments to nine different kids and run-ins with the law concerning cocaine and marijuana, Henry is broke. That’s after making more than $20 million over a seven-year NFL career.
Henry should not feel too bad though, he has plenty of other former stars to keep him company. Here is a list of other famous athletes that have gone from Riches to Rags:
Scottie Pippen, NBA, $120-million career earnings
Jack Clark, MLB, $20-million career earnings
Evander Holyfield, Boxer, $250-million career earnings
Mike Tyson, Boxer, $300 to $400-million career earnings
Sheryl Swoopes, WNBA $50-million career earnings
Lawrence Taylor, NFL $50-million career earnings
Deuce McAllister, NFL $70-million career earnings
The latest guy that will join this list is the always entertaining Terrell Owens. Owens recently said in an interview with GQ magazine that the majority of his $80 million in career earnings is now gone.
It boggles my mind to imagine how a person can lose that much money in a lifetime.
Sometimes an athlete can be a victim of circumstance. Whenever you have money there is always someone out there trying to take it from you, and the greasy accountants, bankers, lawyers, etc. are always lurking right around the corner.
For example, Pippen claims to have been fleeced out of $27 million by a law firm in poor investments. Pippen sued to get this money back, but he was unsuccessful.
While the court obviously did not think so, maybe Pippen really was ripped off by this law firm. But still, he made $120 million throughout his career.
This is where frivolities come into play. In 2001 Pippen purchased a private jet, and as of 2007, he still owed $5 million to the company he bought it from.
Former MLB great Jack Clark lost his fortune on BMWs, Mercedes-Benz and Bentleys (I could not help myself there).
Former Miami Heat star Antoine Walker lost his fortune by having lavish mansions built for him, supporting his family, financially supporting his entire entourage, and gambling with the much more financially stable "King of Air," Michael Jordan.
Ultimately, these athletes need to simply get smart. Stop buying houses for every single member of your immediate and extended family, stop dragging an entourage around with you and paying for all of their crap at the fanciest restaurants and hotels, and stop buying every car that makes you blush.
And finally, use a condom.