Denver Broncos offensive lineman Russell Okung wrote an op-ed for SportTechie
advocating that fellow professional athletes invest in technology.
For decades, athletes have used the money they earned on the field to invest in projects off it, with plans to achieve financial security for life after the game. In the past, these investments were typically in steakhouses, car dealerships, or nightclubs; businesses in which athletes thought they could use their fame to directly generate business and incur large profits. While some athletes -- take Walt Frazier and John Elway -- have been extremely successful, many have learned the hard way that these can be fickle and risky investments. Unfortunately, it has also created a stereotype that athletes are unsophisticated in business and prone to unwise investments.
Now, some people
are warning that venture capital funds and tech startups are the new steakhouses; money pits luring naïve athletes. Sure, some athletes have lost large sums of money as a result of reckless investments and typically, when this happens, it generates a lot of media attention because it reinforces the aforementioned stereotype. But this narrative ignores that investment failure is not the exclusive domain of athletes. It is, by its nature, a risky endeavor and all investors have the same obligation to be diligent, to self-educate and to consult industry and investment experts.
Everyone, not just athletes, needs to do their homework before investing. And athletes are just as able as anyone to do so.
Read the rest here