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Sports Ethics – The Financial Downfall of Trent Richardson
Chuck Gallagher -- The Business Ethics Expert - Keynote Speaker Chuck Gallagher -- The Business Ethics Expert - Keynote Speaker
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Greenville , SC
Thursday, September 08, 2016

Trent RichardsonTrent Richardson, like many professional sports figures, was never effectively trained in how to handle success. Like many athletes he learned his sport with the fine art of practice and muscle memory, but who teaches athletes ethical and financial muscle memory?
Reared in a loving home, but poor by many standards, Richardson knew that if his time came he’d take care of those who were there for him. So when he signed a four-year $20.5 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, Richardson made good on his mental promise.
He b?ught a ?ix-b?dr??m house in Cleveland f?r $825,000 ?nd r?nt?d hi? m?m a house there, too. He h?d a ?h?n?? t? m?k? ?ur? his m?m never h?d t? work ?g?in. In like manner he bought hi? gr?ndm?th?r a house in Pensacola f?r $350,000. Mission accomplished!
Richardson was taken advantage of in my opinion and his story is not by any means the only one. When those who felt they were close to him ask for money to keep their cars or houses, Richardson obliged.
H? ??id, in 2015, he ??w 11 N?tflix ????unt? ?nd 8 Hulu accounts und?r hi? n?m?, and ?h?rg?? from Amazon.com th?t w?r?n’t his. “I fin?ll? ju?t l??k?d at my b?nk ?t?t?m?nt? ?nd, it w?? just wh?r? did this ??m? from, where did th?t ??m? fr?m?” It w?? ?n? ?f th??? m?m?nt? wh?n he w?? ju?t blind?d by the heart, b? l?ving ?v?r?b?d?, trusting that ?v?r?b?d? w?? f?r him. “I kn?w th?? l?v? m? ?nd I know th?? d? mind yet at th? time th?? t??k advantage ?f m?.”
Between J?nu?r? 2015 ?nd October 2015, his family ?nd sidekicks h?d ???nt $1.6 milli?n ?f hi? money. Hi? ??ll?g? guide, Ni?k S?b?n said, “H? needs t? please ?v?r??n?. That makes it diffi?ult t? frustrate ????l? with th? w?rd ‘no.'”
Here is a root problem. What we learn as children, what goes on the hard drive of our mind, creates the programs that we operate from in adult life. Richardson’s – I gotta please others program – kicked into gear and the outcome was financial disaster.
He ?t????d paying for ?v?r??n? ?x???t hi? imm?di?t? family. He ?v?n t??k hi? br?th?r T?rr?ll off hi? account; h? had been ???ing him $100,000 a ???r to be a ??r??n?l ???i?t?nt. Terrell w?? so u???t to h??r h?w much th? people in hi? lif? had hurt Trent, that thr?ugh t??r? he ??id, “I would n?v?r ask him f?r another dime.”
Richardson ??id h? has enough m?n?? l?ft to ?u???rt himself ?nd hi? imm?di?t? family. He will now liv? ?t hi? gr?ndm?th?r’? h?m? ?nd ??ntinu? t? r?h?b ?ft?r kn?? ?urg?r? to tr? to g?t b??k into th? l??gu?. H? ???? ?thl?t?? need t? kn?w the complexity between “want” ?nd “need.”
More important, it’s important to understand how financial success works. Trent Richardson did not get taught that lesson – there was no financial muscle memory there for him to call on. The outcome has been painful. But many painful lessons become the foundation for future success. Let’s hope that is the case for Trent Richardson – the man with too big a heart.
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