NFL Players React to ESPN Film "Broke" About the Pitfalls of Celebrity Wealth

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NFL Players React to ESPN Film "Broke" about the Pitfalls of Celebrity Wealth and NFL Rookie A.J. Jenkins shares his inside view of the 49ers lengthy road trip

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"It’s a lot like winning the lottery when these top draft picks sign their contract," says former NFL safety Donnie Nickey.

This week, NFL Players react to ESPN Films “Broke” directed by Billy Corben (The U, Cocaine Cowboys, Limelight). The film is described by ESPN Films 30 for 30 series takes a look at how many professional athletes have squandered their fortunes. According to ESPN Films, the story paints a complex picture of the many forces that drain athletes' bank accounts, placing some of the blame on the culture at large while still holding these giants accountable for their own hubris. A story of the dark side of success, "Broke," is an allegory for the financial woes haunting economies and individuals all over the world.

Various NFL players across the league are voicing their opinion after watching “Broke” and lighting up Twitter with their comments and thoughts., the player’s website, aggregated many of their comments and the sentiment is virtually the same. The film struck a nerve with NFL veterans like Michael Vick and DeAngelo Williams as well as many others.

"Just watched 30 for 30 on ESPN," Vick tweeted. "Be smart with your $"

"In one word, what is your reaction to Broke? Amazing," Williams tweeted.

Also, from retired receiver Andre Rison: "I guarantee you, I spent a million dollars on jewelry."

Among the stories that no doubt mesmerized professional athletes was former NFL linebacker Keith McCants statement: "I bought myself a yacht, a mansion, a couple of cars. That ain't a million dollars, that's seven million dollars. I pretty much gave it away."

Former Tennessee Titans Safety and eight year veteran, Donnie Nickey, witnessed various players throughout the league make poor financials choices and admittedly made his own mistakes. Nickey now works with a team of financial wealth advisors that are solely focus on high profile and high net worth individuals and celebrity clients at Evergreen Consulting and Stonebridge Wealth Management based in Brentwood, TN. Nickey took his passion for the game and parlayed that into helping his fellow teammates make the best financial decisions early on and hopefully set them up for success after their NFL career ends.

“It’s really about educating these young athletes and giving them the tools they need to succeed well after their playing days are over,” says Nickey. “It can be tough to get their attention as they’re coming into the league because they’re focused on making an impact on the field. These guys aren’t thinking about the end of their career as a rookie. If they play beyond the average length of three and a half years, that’s when they start to pay a little more attention to their finances. It’s a lot like winning the lottery when these top draft picks sign their contract. My goal now is to make sure they’re educated, share some of the mistakes I made along the way and get them thinking about their financial well-being right now and for the rest of their lives.”    

ESPN sites a 2009 Sports Illustrated article that states 60 percent of former NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. On ESPN’s website, the site the following statistics about athletes:

“By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress. Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical problems, and naturally prone to showing off, many pro athletes get shocked by harsh economic realities after years of living the high life. Drawing surprisingly vulnerable confessions from retired stars like Keith McCants, Bernie Kosar and Andre Rison, as well as Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the MLB Players Association, this fascinating documentary digs into the psychology of men whose competitive nature can carry them to victory on the field and ruin off it.”

For the full story on Broke and all the player comments, visit

In addition, features weekly football news and lifestyle blogs by dozens of NFL players and alumni, including the San Francisco 49ers rookie, A.J. Jenkins who talks about the team’s long road trip.

“Last week we did something that's pretty unusual in the NFL -- we took a road trip that lasted more than a week,” said Jenkins. “This was the idea of our coach, Jim Harbaugh, who decided the 49ers shouldn't return home to San Francisco after our Week 3 game at Minnesota. Instead, Coach Harbaugh had us head to Ohio for a week of practice at Youngstown State, before going to New York for our Sunday game against the Jets.”

To read A.J. Jenkins full blog, visit

More About School of the Legends / was founded in 2009 as the Official Licensed Product of NFL Players and serves as "The Voice of the Players”™ with more than 2,500 current and former players contributing to the site. features weekly football and lifestyle blogs by dozens of NFL players and alumni, including Jerome Bettis, Barry Sanders, Patrick Peterson, Will Smith, Dwayne Bowe, Cliff Avril and others. is the player’s site where they comment directly on football news stories of the day and contribute to exclusive player polls that give fans their perspective on the league’s most important issues.

The sister site,, is the largest online source for football training classes with the instructional video series “Legends in Training” that feature players such as Peyton Manning, Larry Fitzgerald and Tony Gonzalez to name a few as well as instruction from professional coaches and trainers. and are officially licensed partners of NFL Players Inc.

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