Close previous Packers vice president, 1999-2008 previous NFL player agent; clients had Matt Hasselbeck, Ricky Williams and also Adam Vinatieri

The reports about pressure on Cowboys lineman Tyron smith to give money to household members, reaching the stage of 911 calls, resonated through me. In 25 years roughly professional athletes, together a player agent and also a team executive, i learned that such situations are an ext prevalent 보다 most civilization realize and have no straightforward answers.

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The recent 30 because that 30 film "Broke" detailed athletes" reckless spending and also financial difficulties later in life. It offered a glimpse of some of the factors pulling top top a player"s portfolio. The smith story provides one more look right into the underbelly that this issue.

Behind countless players is what I speak to the "whisper crew" -- a team whispering come the player what he desires to hear instead of what he requirements to hear. It usually is composed of hometown friends, former high institution or college teammates and all species of "advisers," however the one consistent is family. Often one family member is doing many of the whispering, sometimes with the insidious function of pulling in ~ the player"s purse strings if stroking his ego and also insecurities.

The an ext extended family in the crew, the more I worried. Although this is fixed statistically sound data, I always count the number of the civilization in a player"s picture at the breeze taken best after that is selected. The an ext people in the picture, the much more I worry about the financial future of that player, since many of those people will be on his payroll.

It"s family

I once represented a player through an older brother who I suspected to be abusing drugs and also who repeatedly made requests because that financial assistance. I convinced the player that the brother"s requests must come through me, and for a while, it worked. Once the brother didn"t like the answers ns was providing, however, he went back to contacting the player directly.

One day, the brother involved the player v a inquiry for $100,000 to begin a recording company. Con man that that was, he encouraged the player he had several developed hip-hop artists prepared to come on board. Ns vehemently warned my customer that, as hard as it was to hear, the money would go straight into his brother"s arm and also cause problems for both the them.

Despite mine protestations -- among the couple of times as an agent once I in reality screamed and a long letter warning against the loan, which ns still have -- the player wrote that check. The knew ns was right but shrugged his shoulders and said, "Hey, it"s family."

The brother provided the money because that drugs, and the player never received a dime back. He can use that money now.

Although the amounts and situations vary, this story is a microcosm of what plenty of athletes deal with. They often succumb come the request of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins or uncles v the exasperated response: "It"s family."

This belies a myth around athletes" wanting come play close to home. Many would quite not. They carry out not desire to resolve an extended family"s requests for money, tickets, signed jerseys, time and also more. Some popular players have turned down avenues to play close to home for this an extremely reason.

"What do you do?"

At the Packers, we once had a significant player getting into trouble on a weekly basis. (Yes, a player can get into trouble even in green Bay.) It to be affecting our view of him in the former office, and also it to be affecting his performance on the field. As soon as I looked closer at the situation, however, I uncovered that in every instance the troublemaker was no the player yet his brother, that lived v him.

I saw the brother after a game and also asked him to concerned my office, where I was an extremely direct:

"What carry out you do?"

"Excuse me?"

"What exactly do you do?"

"What execute you mean, Mr. Brandt?"

"While your brother is practicing and preparing for games, what carry out you execute here?"

"I make sure he"s right."

"What does the mean?"

"I get his auto washed, take care of his ticket and address all that ."

"Here"s the problem. Girlfriend sit approximately all day and also wait because that him to come home and also then go out, and also he needs to it is in resting and also preparing, not partying. Execute you know that?"

"What carry out you mean, Mr. Brandt?"

"I mean you must find much more things come occupy your time and also let him emphasis on football, no on being her wingman every night."

He looked at me and I thought perhaps I was obtaining through. Climate he asked:

"What around like two nights a week?"

I smiled. "What around zero or one?"

Fortunately, the brother reined in the partying and also left environment-friendly Bay shortly after ours talk. The player"s power on and off the ar improved. He evaluate that ns was ready to step in.

Bad guy

The mix of players having actually a difficult time speak no and also the truth that these requests come from household members is a toxicity one. If players room unable to be the poor guy in denying requests because that assistance, they require to find out to perform so or have actually someone rather willing to do so.

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Many times, the certified dealer is blamed because that steering a player"s money to the wrong world or permitting these gaue won drains from household to occur. I cannot protect agents who commingle players" accumulation or straight players come unscrupulous gaue won advisers, but I deserve to empathize v agents" delicate dealings v families.