You're Tyron Smith. You're drafted ninth overall, the first offensive lineman taken in 2011. You sign a rookie contract for $12.5 million. All you have to worry about is your family trying to bleed you dry.
Smith has a pretty fascinating interview with the Dallas Morning News today, but it's not just about Smith. He's a proxy for every newly wealthy athlete that discovers relatives and hangers-on crawling out of the woodwork, and each of them wants something from him. (Earlier this week, Tavon Austin learned he's got a whole bunch of "cousins" he never knew existed.) In Smith's case, though, it's not his distant relations. It's his parents and siblings, and it's outright harassment.
Some of the things Smith has had to deal with in the past two years:
- Smith says he gave his family a "substantial" amount of money, but after the last of the agreed-upon installments, they almost immediately began demanding more.
- Smith alleges that his family stole more than $1 million from him, money that just disappeared out of the account kept by a financial planner they had recommended.
- Smith had to file a restraining order against his mother and stepfather, after they "threatened the physical well-being of Tyron and the life of his girlfriend."
- In training camp, a brother that Smith hadn't spoken to “in a long time” showed up at the Cowboys facility, and had to be removed by security.
- While Smith was on the road for a game, two of his sisters showed up at his home and confronted his girlfriend. She called 911, and the police report says they were there to “harass and torment” Smith “in the pursuit of collecting financial gain.”
$12.5 million is a lot of money, but it's not an unlimited amount, and a football player's earning window is short. There are a lot of shitty things about being an athlete, and learning that you can't even trust your family has to be toward the top of the list.