As an athlete or an individual that is doing well, people will reach out to you for various things whether it’s a loan, favor, connection, proposition, etc. From there sometimes what will take place is some sort of Gentleman’s Agreement.
A Gentleman’s Agreement according to Investopedia is an unwritten agreement or transaction backed only by the integrity of the counterparty to actually abide by the terms of the agreement. An agreement like this is not legally binding and could have a negative effect on business relationships if one party decides to default on their promise.
I’m here to tell you that you should never trust or go by any sort of gentleman’s agreement. No matter what , no matter who... don’t okay any agreement that isn’t signed and not looked over diligently.
When you see the term not legally binding that should raise your eyebrows. Not legally binding means it doesn’t have to be enforced and is not official and is not guaranteed. That is very important to understand.
When someone defaults on an agreement you can go back and expect any sort of funds coming back.
It’s vital that we realize no matter how good a deal or opportunity might sound, it doesn’t mean anything or won’t until it’s official and done with. When you are dealing with negotiations or a possible venture, lots of things will sound appeasing but until it’s set in stone, it is all hearsay.
There have been athletes that have spent money they didn’t have at the time because of a gentleman’s agreement between a GM or team organization promising a new contract or a guarantee they were going to picked up in the first round, only to be let down when that didn’t happen. You see that in the NFL most famously Brady Quinn. Another situation athletes get in trouble with the gentleman’s agreement is lending money to people without any binding contract. Trusting someone saying their going to pay you back because they are good for it is a sure fire way to not get your money back.
Many players have found themselves in a hole just for the simple fact they let a gentlemen's agreement serve as a means to get business done. Whether it’s negotiating your new contract or starting a business with your friend make sure you have everything is written.