Why some former professional athletes commit fraud.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Because of the recent midterm elections, the word “fraud” is sometimes utilized in terms of voting and the legitimacy of votes of a certain candidate or voting area. “Voter fraud” has been uttered in the lexicon in recent years, even if it is rare, but big-time “fraud” encompasses much more than voting. Many of the biggest cases of “fraud” involves finances and corporations of various sizes and sometimes even big-name celebrities can be involved in fraud. In sports, there are numerous former professional athletes who have found themselves in cases and accused of fraud and it is interesting that some of the world’s best athletes would take part in some seedy behavior.

For most professional athletes, they have been under a larger spotlight than the average young person for years. Their athletic talents and prowess often drew attention even prior to the athlete hitting high school but definitely during their collegiate athletic careers. Collegiate athletes talented enough to continue their athletic careers professionally have had to deal with more attention from fans, family members, and a lot of strangers for years.

The number of strangers that college athletes encounter that pitch ideas or endorsements has multiplied exponentially with the new NIL, Name, Image and Likeness rules that allow college athletes to make long-deserved money. However, there are significantly more people and strangers that approach professional athletes to try to team up with those athletes, and many times exploit those athletes, for financial reasons. Unfortunately, many professional athletes lack the ability to see who is authentic in wanting to partner with a professional athlete and who is trying to take advantage of them.

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It is important to mention that some professional athletes are capable of being exploiters themselves and get involved in major fraud situations. Former NFL wide receiver Joshua Bellamy, got a $1.2 million loan from the Paycheck Protection Program for his company, some of which he spent on himself, including on jewelry and at a casino. Last year, he was sentenced to 37 months in prison and will have to repay the $1,246,565. Bellamy reportedly made $8.1 million dollars in career NFL earnings, which is money that most people will never come close to. The biggest name in sports currently involved in a fraud-case is Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Favre allegedly misappropriated funds as part of the Mississippi welfare fraud investigation as his own non-profit organization “Favre 4 Hope” was used as a way to funnel money from donors to the University of Southern Mississippi athletic department.

Favre is not a sympathetic figure in this fraud case for many reasons. Favre’s charity, “Favre 4 Hope” is supposed to help disadvantaged children and cancer patients, but allegedly donated more than $130,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation from 2018 to 2020, the same years Favre was working to finance a new volleyball center at the school that his daughter played volleyball for.

It is not a surprise that Brett Favre has denied any wrongdoing and he has showed his immaturity in pointing the finger at the media. For a guy who is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, he is not a good human being by many accounts. While it is noteworthy that former millionaire pro athletes committing fraud is bad, it is a micro-level look at the horrific corporate fraud that many top U.S. companies commit by avoiding hundreds of billions of dollars by parking their profits abroad. There are levels of fraud from thousands of dollars to billions of dollars as greed and individualism fuels much of that terrible behavior.

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Staff Writer; Mark Hines