Phillip Buchanon: Mom said I owed her $1 million after being drafted

Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; A detailed view of footballs before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; A detailed view of footballs before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Former first round draft choice Phillip Buchanon revealed a series of anecdotes about his mother in a memoir.

When the NFL Draft on April 30th rolls around, dozens of mothers will be receiving dozens of gifts. Following their selection in the draft, countless new NFL rookies have purchased homes, cars and other gifts for their mothers, and there is no indication that this is stopping this year.

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Overall, this is a touching practice. Moms are great; they give selflessly to their children in order for those children to achieve their dreams, and so later in life when the child has succeeded and they have more money than they know what to do with, a gift in return can show the necessary appreciation for their long years of service heating up Pizza Rolls and going shopping for velcro shoes because you haven’t learned the “bunny ears” method yet (sorry mom).

It’s like buying them Sunday brunch and going to a movie, only on the much larger financial scale of buying a house.

Usually, though, the parents don’t demand it. This was not the case for former Raiders cornerback and first round draft pick Phillip Buchanon, as he revealed in his memoir/finance guide New Money: Staying Rich.

From Fox Sports:

"Soon after the draft, she told me that I owed her a million dollars for raising me for the past 18 years. Well, that was news to me."

This was, of course, after already buying her a house. She didn’t want to pay for the maintenance.

The drawback to gifting your mother something extravagant after being drafted is that it leads to one of the financial pitfalls surrounding new professional athletes: giving handouts to family members. It can be a trap that can ensnare anyone who dramatically sees their financial fortunes shoot up.

Buchanon explains further:

"If my mother taught me anything, it’s that this is the most desperate demand that a parent can make on a child. The covenant of having a child is simply that you give your child everything possible, and they owe you nothing beyond a normal amount of love and respect. There is no financial arrangement. It’s not written in the social contract.The mothers and fathers of the world have been rearing their kids for generations — in every culture imaginable — and it’s a one-way street when it comes to money. If they pay you back someday, and you really are going through hard times, then that’s just a bonus, a gratuity for being a great mother or father."

The entire selection is filled with disheartening details regarding Buchanon’s mother and how she dealt with Buchanon’s financial situation. One of the true ironies in the article is the idea that she finds her son ungrateful, yet at the same time complains about the nature of the gifts that she is receiving.

Family should be regarded as a beacon of support, not a source of toxicity. One example of this is one too many, but Phillip Buchanon’s is not the only instance.

Late in 2014, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson was forced to file for bankruptcy after his parents, who were in charge of his finances, pocketed most of his money and used it on extraneous purchases and put the player into eight figures worth of debt. Johnson was lied to about those purchases, and recently brought a lawsuit against his parents for it.

Don’t let this stop you from celebrating mother’s day. Go have brunch with your mother.

(H/T: Fox Sports)

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