Stupid, Dumb, and Uneducated

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who speaks about how “stupid”, “dumb”, and “uneducated” athletes are? I have. This could not be further from the truth, and it does not just happen to athletes.

I have heard and read comments about college and professional athletes being “spoiled” and given a “free education”. I listen to those who have NEVER worked in sports (at any level), or played a sport past elementary school recess, or ever worked a day in sports from anything more than a volunteer.

These critics voice their opinions on what they have “heard” or “seen” on television, blog posts, or talk radio. Not all athletes are “stupid”, “dumb”, or “uneducated”. It takes a lot of intelligence to learn and execute a playbook.  Where athletes are failed is that they are not experienced enough in other matters outside of their profession as an athlete and often put too much trust in others to handle their lives. Simply put, they just have not lived enough life to know or understand how the world operates outside of professional sports.

High school coaches are trusted because they want to see their kids succeed at the next level and in life, because the value proposition is education. College coaches are trusted because they want their kids to succeed; again the value is education. Professional coaches want their players to succeed as well, but the value is now monetary compensation, which leaves the door wide-open for those to come in and misguide and misadvise players.   

In a recent blog posted by Chris Chase of Yahoo! Sports, “Why do so many NFL players go bankrupt?”, the blog attempted to portray the reasons why athletes go broke through commentary by a few former athletes.  While the blog touches around a couple of examples as to why NFL players go bankrupt, it fails to educate the reader as to where the trouble begins or even how it can be corrected. (Not to mention, this article improperly states two year veterans salary of $460,000; it is actually a player with two credited seasons who will make at least $490,000 not $460,000.)

Entrusting too much in others who do not have the player’s best interest first is essentially how the world of a professional athlete’s life comes crumbling down around him before he even knows what hit him. Often family members are placed in the role of trusted confidant, but they too are at times no more experienced than the player, and that too can cause problems.  There is nothing wrong with entrusting family with family affairs. Family should be trusted on a completely different level than a hired professional, but players too must remember THEY hire the professional and not the other way around.

The next time you here someone criticize a player for being “dumb”, “stupid”, or “uneducated”, remind that person of the three links below and ask if a 22-35 year old adult should have all of the answers to life’s questions at such a young age.

The Rise and Fall of Dallas Restaurateur Mico Rodriguez

Unpaid bills mount for top Chrysler executive

Lottery Winner Loses $114 Million In Four Years



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