After all of those years in the spotlight and earning great sums of money, athletes sometimes struggle with what career path to take once they are in the need to retire. Some go for some conventional jobs such as sales reps, executive recruiter, franchise owners, physical therapist, and even teachers. But others move on to more unusual careers either continuing on to a different sport or even to completely different and unrelated field.
Many former athletes turn to a series of business ventures once retires from sports, and in some cases it pays off. Take for example, former heavyweight champion George Freeman who turned to his business venture as a grill spokesperson and has been very successful. Another example is former NFL wide receiver and kick returner, Brad Pyatt, who after suffering football related injuries decided to found MusclePharm in 2008. MusclePharm is an advanced nutritional supplement for athletes.
Some athletes change sports after retiring from their original passion. One legend that is a good example of an athlete changing sports is Michael Jordan. He is known around the world as a basketball superstar and after becoming a legend in basketball, he gave baseball a try. He played for the Chicago White Sox and after a few home runs, but not amounting to much else he returned to basketball. Another example is Rebecca Romero, an Olympic rowing silver medalist in 2004, moved on to cycling and four years later won a gold medal in this new sport.
Drew Bledsoe former NFL quarterback between 1993 and 2001 on the New England Patriot. He later went on to acquire your vineyard near Washington with a partner Chris Figgins in 2006. He and his childhood friend, who happens to be a master winemaker, opened this business and it’s just continued to grow.
World of politics
There have been a few pro athletes that have turned to politics and have had success in the past years, proving that this is yet another career move to consider once the athletic years are over.
Dave Bing an All-Star guard in the NBA who is even included in the Naismith Hall of Fame. He played on the Detroit Pistons since 1975 and to this day is considered a legend. In 2009 he moved on to politics when he won a special election after the previous mayor of Detroit resigned due to a scandal. Bing won the follow-up election that was held six months later.
Another former NBA example is Kevin Johnson who was a three-time NBA All-Star. He played with the Phoenix Suns and held the record for assists, free throws made and free throws attempted. Johnson after an impressive athletic career went on to become the first African-American elected as Mayor of Sacramento. He has addressed important topics affecting the community and has proved to be as successful inside the court as outside of it.
Finally, one more example from a different sport we have Heath Shuler who after being on several NFL teams as quarterback is currently a U.S. Congressman since 2007. He had an impressive career as quarterback for the Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders. He is a Democrat and represents the 11th district of North Carolina.
Reality TV Star
Many former athletes have made an appearance on the Reality TV scene, some with success and others not so much. Evander Holyfield used his boxing skills and moves, and put them to the test with the beat on Dancing with the Stars. In 2005 he starred on the show teaming up with Edyta Sliwinska and competed against other teams. He wasn’t very successful and got cut in the third week. Dennis Rodman, the controversial NBA star, remember both on the court for his amazing skills and talent and off for his extravagant lifestyle ad fashion. He played basketball until 2000, but in the attempt to stay in the spotlight a bit longer he entered the Celebrity Mole: Yucatan in 2004. He actually ended up as the winner and ended up with $220,000.
Jose Canseco is another example of reality TV gone wrong. He was in and out of the news in the 80’s and 90’s because of his baseball skills, then in 2005 for his book Juiced, and then made his way to VH1’s The Surreal Life 5 where he lived with other celebrities for two weeks. His career has even been reduced to charging fans to spend time with him, while he was under house arrest. He never managed to clean up his image, if anything he made things worse with his book and Reality TV appearance.