20 Athletes Doing Minimum Wage Jobs

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIDecember 12, 2012

20 Athletes Doing Minimum Wage Jobs

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    Contrary to what most of us think, professional athletes will occasionally work minimum-wage gigs.

    Granted, for some it's part of a publicity stunt, a charity drive or an ad campaign. For others it may be just to keep busy during a lockout or during the off-season.

    For still others, it is actually to pay the bills, either on their way up to stardom, or in retirement.

    Click on to see 20 sports personalities that have worked in the trenches (at least one literally so).

Roger Federer: Chauffeur

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    A hip injury and shin splints temporarily sidelined "Fed Express" back in 2001. He used some of his down time to taxi around former rival Michael Lammer, who was also injured at the time.

    Of the gig, Lammer said Federer "waited for me at the train station, drove me to school and picked me up again and then we went together to physical therapy at the sports school in Magglingen.”

    And grandmothers around the world uttered a collective, "such a nice young man."

Mark Cuban: Soft Serve Server

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    When billionaire Mark Cuban—owner of the Dallas Mavericks—unwittingly insulted Dairy Queen in January of 2002, the fast fast food company issued this statement:

    "We are certainly impressed that Dairy Queen is top of mind with Mark Cuban. We like the publicity he's generated for us. But Mr. Cuban may be surprised to find out how much it takes to manage a Dairy Queen. We invite Mr. Cuban in to manage a Dairy Queen for a day."


    Cuban accepted and, after a training session, curled soft serves for 2 hours.

    Not so easy to get a pointy tip on that cone, is it, big shot?

Urige Buta: Janitor

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    Urige Buta is a champion marathon runner. He represented Norway in the 2012 Olympics.

    But hoofing it for 26.2 isn't quite as lucrative as slam dunking. So Buta works as a janitor to support his running habit.

Chris Paul: Gas Station Attendant

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    Before Paul grew into NBA stardom, he pumped gas at his grandfather's gas station in North Carolina.

    Perhaps all those fumes altered his DNA and gave him his super balling skills.

John Jeffrey: Farmer

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    Jeffrey was a titan of Scottish Rugby.

    Known as "The Great White Shark" for his aggressive play, he now plants seeds instead of faces.

Natasha Perdue: Garbage Collector

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    When Perdue isn't lifting heavy metal plates over her head, she's lifting heavy metal cans over her head. And tossing their contents in a truck.

    Perdue, British weightlifting champion and world number 22, makes ends meet as a garbage collector in Leeds, England.

Carl Lewis: Burger Slinger

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    Carl Lewis has 10 Olympic medals and is a track and field legend. The secret of his success? Dipping frozen potato sticks in hot oil.

    "Time is very important," Lewis said of his long-ago job at McDonalds. "You couldn't let the fries get cold. If I was 10 seconds off, I'd have no gold medal."

P.K. Subban: Bartender and Pie Server

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    Although P.K. is a Hab, during the lockout he has taken employment at Boston Pizza (a Canadian restaurant chain). Traitorous? Maybe not.

    P.K. manages to get his loyalties across with some strategic beer spilling and pepperoni positioning. 

Ali Wiliams: Shoe Store Manager

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    Minor league ball players sometimes can't earn enough to get by as they wait for their big chance. Many of them turn to day jobs to supplement their income.

    Ali Williams, is a former Charleston Southern pitcher. He was drafted by the Royals in the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft. 

    For now though, he earns rent as a shoe store manager.

Forsberg, Sedins, Naslund, Hedman, Zuccarello of the NHL: Making Pies for Mamma

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    Some of the most famous NHL players to come out of Scandinavia cook up some fine Italian fare for this restaurant ad.

    Um, ever heard of a hair net, fellas? Gag!

John Bracewell: Grave Digger

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    As a cricket player Bracewell was a "resourceful offspinner with a high action, and a useful, hard-hitting batsman."

    But his sporting ventures just didn't bring in enough income.

    So he dug graves. Naturally.

Delonte West: Furniture Warehouse Worker

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    During the 2011 NBA lockout, Brother Redbush tweeted that he needed a second job "to stay afloat."

    West applied for a stock room job with Regency Furniture. On his application, he did the right thing and checked "Yes" for "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"

    For the "If yes, describe in full" blank, West wrote one word:


    He got the job.

Ewen Chatfield: Taxi Driver

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    Chatfield was a New Zealand test player. He played alongside cricket superstars Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe.

    (To give an NBA equivalent, Chatfield was John Paxson playing with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.)

    Chatfield was instrumental in New Zealand's 1980 win over unofficial world champions, The West Indies.

    But when his game dried up, so did his income. He took to mowing lawns. But two wet winters put an end to that, so he took a job with Corporate Cabs in Wellington, New Zealand.

    He's happy enough with the gig as he has always "liked driving around."

Usain Bolt: DJ

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    When the fastest man alive finally slows down, at least he'll have a job to fall back on. Apparently Bolt has got some mad skills behind the turntable.

Garin Jenkins: Miner

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    Jenkins is a Welsh rugby legend. He spent 12 years among rugby elite, earning 59 caps and playing in three World Cups.

    But at the time he was getting into the game, rugby was still an amateur sport. He took shifts in a coal mine to earn money.

    Lucky for him, the mining jobs dried up. It gave him the motivation to play rugby in New Zealand. His sporting career took off after that.

Blake Griffin: Intern

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    If you are going to subject yourself to a lowly internship, there's nothing better to cushion the blow than having one of the funniest people on the planet as your boss.

    During the 2011 NBA lockout, Clippers forward Blake Griffin interned for Will Ferrell's comedy website Funny or Die. Think Griffin got special treatment because he was a sports celeb?


    Top brass at the website pledged that Griffin would be regular ol' gofer, just like all the other interns.

    Check out Griffin behind the scenes at the great yuk yuk factory here.

Karch Kiraly: Babysitter

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    That's right, the man many regard as the greatest volleyball player of all time once baby sat.

    Guess he was quite the role model for the young'uns, as at least one of them ended up becoming quite the player herself.

    Maybe you've heard of her; she goes by the name Misty.

Jim Thorpe: Hollywood Extra, Ditch Digger

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    Often considered the world's greatest athlete, Jim Thorpe had to turn to some rough jobs as his sporting days came to an end.

    As a middle-aged man, he did back-breaking labor as a ditch digger.

    From 1931-1950, Thorpe appeared in dozens of B movies. Star? Nope. Co-star? Nope. Supporting actor? Nope. Featured day-player? Wrong again. Thorpe was an extra. Human scenery. One step above a cardboard backdrop.

    All Space Jam jokes aside, imagine Michael Jordan having a second career in film:

    "Hey, did you see MJ in The Avengers? He was civilian #42 in the final battle."

Rajon Rondo: Math Teacher

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    On Election Day of  2012, Rondo stepped in for the hardworking Ms. Oshodi, an algebra instructor at a high school in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

    As Rondo is a local hero, we can be pretty sure no spit balls were launched at the back of his head.

Caron Butler: Burger Slinger

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    "I once worked at Burger King in Racine,'' Butler said. "I know the business. I know it from the janitorial spot all the way through the management side. I know that game inside and out.''

    And it is because he knows another game "inside and out" that he gets paid millions of dollars and now OWNS six Burger Kings.