Back in 2012, ESPN's 30 for 30 series produced an episode called "Broke". The documentary talked about the many forces in play that too frequently lead to professional athletes blowing through their money during or after their playing career.
It is easy for some people to scoff at millionaire athletes blowing through money. And sometimes it is ridiculous some of the purchases some athletes will make. However, there are some cautionary tales of instances where the people supposedly closest to the athlete attempt to take advantage of them.
On recent example is Phillip Buchanon. He recently wrote a book called "New Money: Staying Rich" as a cautionary tale to young athletes. CBS Sports spoke with him about the book, and posted a particularly alarming excerpt. Buchanon talks about how soon after he was drafted, his mother told him he owed her $1 million for the services she provided raising him from birth to his departure for college.
You are not reading that wrong. His mom wanted payment for being his mother. Buchanon said she had previously made some jokes about it, but this was clearly very serious. He says he later bought her a house, but it was large and she complained about not being able to afford upkeep. He then said he offered to buy her a smaller house, but he said he would do that or give her $15,000 cash. She apparently took the cash because the smaller house would not have two living room sets.
Obviously this is only his side of the story, but given some of the other stories I've heard about the families of professional athletes, this is believable, and not entirely shocking. It's incredibly disappointing to hear this kind of thing. It is good Buchanon is trying to warn younger athletes, but it will be interesting to see just how it plays out. Some athletes have a good head on their shoulders and are able to ward off bad influences like this. Others are going to get stuck a financial bind because of their situation, and end up like too many others.
Obviously this particular story is not specific to the San Francisco 49ers, but it is something that impacts a lot of professional athletes. We don't really think about a lot of these things, but it is worth calling attention to.