Ballers have it hard, especially those who have to not only support themselves, but also their family and friends. This post brings me back to an episode of Terrell Owens’ reality show from 2010. The subject: Baller Income.
To break down what this episode was about, T.O. finally decides to come clean to his family about his lack of income, his injury, and finding out that a friend of his stole his bank card and had been racking up charges. T.O, who had been supporting his entire family, finds himself in a financial bind and feels its time to finally say something.
We find that Ballers, mainly African American ones, tend to get rich and take care of their entire family. Which is great. I feel that one great thing about black people is how much we value our family. When we get our hands on something, it’s almost a given that we will try to help our people. Especially our mothers who did everything to help us. The problem? Not only do we help our family, we help our friends, their friends, people that pop up out of nowhere and the whole damn neighborhood if we have to. After a while we find ourselves in an MC Hammer situation, paying professional homeboys to do absolutely nothing until our funds are all tapped out.
Everyone knows that once you come up on a little bit of money, people will come out of the woodworks with their hands out. When you come from nothing and finally become something, you feel the need to bring all of your “hangers on” with you. Of course if you bring them with you you have to make sure they’re fed, clothed, and have a roof over their head. You become their parent. Truthfully it isn’t fair. Once one friend makes it, it seems like that is the cue for the rest of the family to quit their job and for “homeboys” to become professional lackies. The minute you refuse to pay up, they say you forgot where you came from or that you’re uppity. Of course they don’t know the true struggle of having to support 10, 15, 20 people on your one salary. Even a person who makes a few million a year can quickly lose it after paying everyone else’s bills.
Let’s forget how quickly people will take advantage of you. Stealing your credit cards, staying over your house, asking for clothes, cars and living expenses paid when they don’t truly deserve it. Why quit your job because your homie got on? I think that a lot of the problems with our Ballers and their financial situations is that they feel they need to take care of everyone. Either it’s to show off or it’s to do the right thing, either way, they’re not doing whats best for their pockets and when the money is all gone, so is all of your family and friends. Secondly, they become too trusting. They become involved with a world where they don’t feel they can trust ANYONE and when they finally have that family to lean on, turns out they can’t trust them either. By the time they realize it, it’s too late. I’m hoping that eventually, especially in the black community, we learn to not take advantage of our family like this. If we continue to bleed them dry, we’ll be stuck with a lot of T.O.’s and MC Hammer’s, men who can no longer provide for themselves, let alone 20 other people. Buying a house for your mom is one thing, paying for your mom, cousins, aunts and uncle’s bills is another. We got to do better.