Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton was apparently flying from Paris to Charlotte via North Texas and offered a passenger $1,500 for a coach seat with extra legroom, according to a tweet that is making the rounds on social media.
The passenger apparently valued his extra legroom on the 10-hour flight more than $1,500 because he turned Cam Newton down.
The Great Cam Newton Mystery
Why wasn’t Cam Newton flying first or business class? Why wasn’t he flying private? Was this an example of some arrogant elite NFL star trying to push around a civilian or being stingy?
— Cameron Newton (@CameronNewton) May 10, 2019
There's More to the Story
It turns out the story had another nugget to it. Cam Newton apparently missed his original flight in which he had been booked into business class. For reasons not yet disclosed, he agreed to take a coach seat on a flight that not only wasn’t direct but actually would first land in Texas before North Carolina.
Yet the first response I had to the matter, before learning Cam Newton had simply missed his flight, was that Cam Newton must be having financial difficulties. And it wasn’t because of a cryptocurrency investment, either.
That may sound odd in light of Newton's $20 million annual salary and reported net worth.
Athletes Often Go Broke
Yet a famous Sports Illustrated article from 2009 reports that 60 percent of NBA players lose everything within five years of retiring, and 78 percent of NFL players find themselves in financial straits within just two years of retirement.
NFL players make a lot of bad investments due to inexperience.
In that same article, wealth manager Ed Butowsky of Chapwood Investments said:
“Chronic over allocation into real estate and bad private equity is the No. 1 problem [for athletes] in terms of a financial meltdown. And I've never seen more people come to me about raising money for those kinds of deals than athletes… there's something in an athlete's mentality that drives him to swing for the fences financially – usually at his own peril."
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) June 24, 2019
Fortunately, Cam Newton was only late to his original flight and may just need to manage his time better.