Warren Sapp: Another Example of Financial Disaster in Pro Sports

Marques Eversoll@MJEversollAnalyst IApril 11, 2012

Despite earning millions of dollars throughout a prestigious 13-year NFL career, Warren Sapp has filed for bankruptcy, according to TMZ.

Sapp made an estimated $40 million during his football career, and he's now $6.7 million in debt.

Although Sapp is the most current example of a public figure losing his fortune, he's simply the latest in a long line of sad financial stories. In February, former NBA player Allen Iverson went bankrupt despite accumulating over $154 million in his professional career.

Iverson's financial missteps included paying for a personal hair stylist to travel from New Jersey just to braid his cornrows two or three times per week. On top of being obsessed about the current state of his hair, Iverson would go on road trips while playing for the 76ers without any luggage. Why? He was rich. You can always buy clothes.

As a result, Iverson owes $860,000 to a jeweler and he's currently out of money as well as diamonds.

When something like this happens to an athlete, private details about his financial struggles become public.

In Sapp's case, $6.45 million in assets will be liquidated including 240 pairs of Jordan shoes worth over $6,000, a watch worth $2,250, a rug made of lion skin worth $1,200 and of course, the infamous "large painting of a nude woman."

It's unknown as to exactly how Sapp managed to lose everything he's earned, but the cause is irrelevant.

As public entertainers, athletes and their wallets are direct beneficiaries of fan interest. As fans, we choose to buy a Warren Sapp jersey or a ticket to a game, but it's troubling to hear about pro athletes losing the fortune they acquired partly from the pockets of sports fans.

While it's nobody's fault but his own, it hasn't exactly been a great month for Sapp. On March 21st, Sapp tweeted that fellow Miami alum Jeremy Shockey was the "snitch" who leaked the Saints' bountygate scandal.

That "report" has since been shot down by various, more reliable sources. As the employer for the retired-NFL-star-turned-on-site-journalist, NFL Network was in the middle of a sticky situation before news of Sapp's bankruptcy became public.

Although the network decided not to fire Sapp initially, they publicly warned him not to overstep his boundaries in his role with the company.

Despite not being particularly insightful as an analyst, Sapp had been making $45,000 a month before it was reported that the NFL Network would let him go after his filing for bankruptcy became public.

Sapp had been making more money in a month than the average US teacher makes in a year.

And now he's out of money and looking for a job.

And everyone with a Tampa Bay Bucs No. 99 jersey is asking for their money back.


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