Why Would NFL Star Cam Newton Offer $1,500 for Better Seat in Coach?

NFL stars are no strangers to bizarre and even unfortunate stories, whether it's buying a Tesla or demanding to be paid in bitcoin.

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.

Cam Newton turned down | Source: Twitter

The Great Cam Newton Mystery

This set off a mystery throughout the media. Why would Newton, who is slated to earn more than $20 million this season and reportedly has a net worth of $45 million, do such a thing?

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?

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."

Fortunately, Cam Newton was only late to his original flight and may just need to manage his time better.

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About the author

Lawrence Meyers
Lawrence Meyers

Lawrence Meyers has published over 2,500 articles on finance and policy at outlets including Breitbart.com, Investorplace, WyattResearch, LearnBonds, Lifezette.com, TownHall.com, U.S. News & World Report, and The New York Observer. He hails from New York City in the USA.

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