Athletes and money are a terrible combination. Just ask them.
How many times have we heard about athletes who end up broke and penniless after making millions and millions of dollars playing a game? The list is endless. There’s even a 30 For 30 documentary about it called Broke, which outlines the number of ways an athlete goes broke during or after their playing days are done.
You will have heard of the most recent case of an athlete who apparently spent more than he made (amazingly) and the numbers are mind-boggling. I speak, of course, about the story of Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks.
On Jan. 9, Sheng Peng, who writes for San Jose Hockey Now, first told of Kane and the Sharks being sued by Centennial Bank, based in the state of Arkansas, over unpaid interest and principal of $8.3 million based on a $3.9 million loan Kane received for “business and investment opportunities” in September 2018.
His seven-year, $49 million contract that he signed with the Sharks in May 2018 was used as the original collateral to secure the loan but Peng reported that more loans were taken out against the contract. Centennial Bank wants a court to ensure the Sharks deposit any payment directly into Kane’s account with the bank with the proviso that Kane not be allowed to touch any of it.
That was just the tip of the iceberg, it would appear. Two days after Peng’s report, Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic reported that Kane had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California with $26.8 million of liabilities and $10.2 million in assets. Here’s a sample of just what Kane allegedly owes to people:
- $256,320 in unpaid taxes
- $79,393 to American Express
- $528,730 to Newport Sport Management in agent’s fees
- $1.5 million to Cosmopolitan Casino in gambling debts (markers).
In total, 47 creditors will looking for a piece of Kane’s pie in addition to more than $9,000 in monthly car payments and seven dependents (mom, dad, grandmother, two uncles, sister and a new baby girl).
It’s an amazing filing considering how much he’s made in his National Hockey League career.
That is, if he plays at all this season. It’s going around that Kane may not play because of the threat of Covid-19 and his newborn daughter. That’s a valid concern and if that’s the case, I won’t begrudge him one bit. I’m a father and my kids are priority No. 1. But the bankruptcy filing outlines how if Kane doesn’t play, he won’t get paid. Awfully hard to repay debt with no income.
According to CapFriendly, Kane has made close to $53 million during his 11 years in the NHL. You know what that means? It means Evander Kane has been a fool that’s parted with more money than he’s ever made in his life. He obviously thought he’d be able to finance his way through life and roll through it like Jay-Z. Problem is you can’t make $7 million per season and live like Jay-Z.
And before you get on my case and tell me that this is a sad case of an athlete who made some mistakes, spare me. Kane knew exactly what he was doing. Take a look at some of the photos he’s posted over the years: feet up in what appears to be a private jet, posing with Ferraris and let’s not forget that infamous “money phone” during the 2012 lockout. Some found it funny, many others found it in rather bad taste that he decided to “call” Floyd Mayweather while other players, who didn’t have money phones, were trying to figure out how to pay the bills after being told by their owners that they could sit until they got what they wanted.
I’ve read a lot of people trying to equate this with the Jack Johnson situation, another NHL player who filed for bankruptcy because he owed a lot of money. Not even close. False equivalency. Fake news. Johnson’s plight came courtesy of his mother, who took advantage of her son giving her power of attorney. She and her husband then decided to take out huge high-interest loans against Johnson’s then-$30.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings and blow it all on homes, cars and travelling the world.
When the bills came due, Johnson had no idea his parents had screwed him over the way they did and had to file for Chapter 11 in 2014. He’s essentially been playing to pay the creditors ever since.
I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Kane because he put himself in this situation. He tried to have the lavish lifestyle and in the end, he’s taking the low way out. He was a complete dingus with his money and blew a lifestyle almost all of us wish we could have had.
Don’t be shocked to see him line up a fight with one of the Paul brothers in the near future to help pay the bills.