NHL Star Bankrupt, Thanks to Parents

Columbus Dispatch reveals plight of Jack Johnson
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2014 1:49 PM CST
NHL Star Bankrupt, Thanks to Parents
Columbus Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson carries the puck up ice in a game last month.   (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

That a professional athlete who rakes in millions of dollars a year has to declare bankruptcy isn't all that unusual. That his parents are mostly to blame is a little more so. Such is the plight of the Columbus Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson, reports the Columbus Dispatch. The 27-year-old has made about $18 million over nine years in the NHL, but pretty much all of it is gone—as are some future earnings, writes Aaron Portzline. As a result, Johnson declared bankruptcy last month.

The big problem? As a budding star, Johnson turned over control of his money to his parents, who embraced a risky strategy known as "monetizing"—essentially borrowing money against their son's future earnings. After scores of defaults and lawsuits, Johnson now has less than $50,000 in assets to his name. “Jack would ask (his parents) questions: ‘What’s this? What are these guys calling about?'” one source tells the newspaper. "And they would tell him not to worry about it, just worry about playing hockey." Johnson, who didn't realize things were awry until earlier this year, is reportedly now estranged from his parents. The story is equal parts "shocking and heartbreaking," observes Sports Illustrated. (More NHL stories.)

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