Two Things We Can Learn From The AAF
The Alliance of American Football just folded leaving dozens of professional athletes without jobs overnight. The AAF was the newest football league hoping to be the gap for football players between college football and the NFL, unfortunately like 90% of startups, it didn’t work out.
A lot of these players are now left with zero income, no healthcare, and no immediate plan for the future. It’s tough considering the athletes that have to support their families considering the sacrifices they made to join the new league after the promises were told.
What happened with the AAF is a great lesson for professional athletes in any sport:
You should always have an emergency fund incase for a rainy day. An emergency fund is essentially an account set aside usually lasting around 3-6 months depending on your comfort level that can be used in personal dilemma situations. As a professional athlete whether you are on a guaranteed contract or not, it’s important to always have an emergency fund for any situation that may arise. If you were told you were not going to get cut and not get paid, how would you support yourself? How long would you be able to live in your current environment? An emergency fund gives you some breathing room to get out of a sticky situation.
Business is Business
The owner of the AAF, Tom Dundon shut down the league for undisclosed reasons after reportedly investing 75 million of his comitted 250 million injection to keep the league afloat. As we all know, it never got that far and the AAF ceased operations. Whatever the reason may be, Dundon is a businessman who made a business decision. Professional athletes need to take the same approach when it comes to their own career interest. Your career is a business. You have to make decisions based on what is best for you. If you would rather play in a smaller market because it increases your chances to reach your incentives or if you would rather play in . state that has no income tax are all decisions you should have the right to make. When something isn’t going well, don’t be afraid to cut your losses.
If we look to Dundon as an example, he invested 70 million into a project and lost it. Dundon is a billionaire who’s invested in a plethora of businesses. This allows him more risk tolerance. As athletes who on average aren’t multi millionaires across the board. Why are athletes solely relying on their career to take them to financial stability? Why aren’t athletes willing to let go and move on to a more promising ROI? The sooner athletes grasp the concept that sports are a business just like everything else, the better athletes will be for it.