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Ex-NFL player Chidi Ahanotu ordered to give up championship ring

Chidi Ahanotu, a defensive end who spent 12 years in the NFL, was ordered to surrender a ring he received for winning the NFC Championship with the 2001 Rams after a legal action taken by his ex-wife.

This court system is a farce,” Ahanotu said. “This court wants a man to hand over his once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment to pay some damn attorney’s fees? I could see if it was going to pay something for my children or my ex-wife.”

Ahanotu tried to claim the ring was no longer his because he had given it to his brother, but the judge didn’t buy it. Ahanotu said in September that he couldn’t afford the $130,000 in legal fees that he owes over a custody battle with his ex-wife.

“I don’t have $130,000,” Ahanotu said. “It’s been a long time since I played in the NFL.”

By “a long time,” Ahanotu means six years. Ahanotu is one of far too many athletes who make millions in their 20s and 30s and go broke by age 40. Now he’ll either give up the ring or go to jail for contempt of court.

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35 Responses to “Ex-NFL player Chidi Ahanotu ordered to give up championship ring”
  1. jdmcmill says: Jan 19, 2011 9:03 AM

    The fact that the attorneys fees are 130K is the sad part of this story. So many times a father tries to do what is best for his kids and winds up paying for it in the end. Not assuming he is a great father and that was the case here, cut I am guessing this is the case. Those ex’s will fight tooth and nail for that paycheck.

  2. realitypolice says: Jan 19, 2011 9:06 AM

    Give it up, Chidi.

    I don’t care what it’s for, unless the lawyers told you they were working for free, you knew you would owe them money when you used their services.

    It’s called personal responsibility, stupid. If you’d had some when you were playing, you would have the money you needed now to live up to your debts like a man.

    Grow up.

  3. cmstrick says: Jan 19, 2011 9:08 AM

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Ahanotu, or any other player that makes that kind of money and winds up broke 5 or 6 years later, but that is complete BS.

    That judge should be picked up by his feet and used as a club to beat the lawyer to death.

  4. steelerfan9598 says: Jan 19, 2011 9:10 AM

    $130,00o? Greedy lawyers are ruining the country. Right, Mike? What is the lawyer going to do with it? Pawn it?

  5. ninjapleazee says: Jan 19, 2011 9:33 AM

    it’s going to be on Ebay

  6. footballsavant says: Jan 19, 2011 9:34 AM

    Even more pathetic than Chidi’s plight (self-induced, no doubt) is how few, if any, current players will learn from it.

    Save your money fellas!

  7. toad8572 says: Jan 19, 2011 9:36 AM

    “I don’t care what it’s for, unless the lawyers told you they were working for free, you knew you would owe them money when you used their services.

    It’s called personal responsibility, stupid.”

    The attorney’s fees that he’s expected to pay are those of his ex-wife. Why in the hell is he required to pay the attorneys that are working against him? Let the ex pay for her own attorneys!

  8. patriot67 says: Jan 19, 2011 9:47 AM

    If I were him & thank god that I’m not, I would take the jail time. Just because no one has a right to make you sell anything I have people that ove me a few thousand dollars & I’m not allowed to go to their house and say “SELL THIS CAR AND PAY ME!” This man has every right to keep his ring. This is America this judge has no business budding into his financial business he is a divorce lawyer the real crook here is the Lawyer charging $130,000 to preside over a divorce I bet this judge is related to this lawyer. You see I bet the Lawyer cant bribe the judge if he doesn’t get his loot so that may be why the Judge is bullying this player. I’m so sick of these judges looking out for these lawyers. this judge should just have said Your financial issues are not the concern of the court handle them the best way you can and moved forward not budding into hjis personal life thats bull crap and it is very very obvious this judge has a stake in this lawyers fee. Bottom line end of story . Let this be a lesson to all the men out there There is no need to marry a woman for any reason at all. If you love someone thats all you need. Do you see any other species getting married? NO there is no need for it it is a trumped up institution to legally bind two people the only ones that make out in a marriage is or are Lawyers and insurance companies

  9. didiwags says: Jan 19, 2011 9:51 AM

    I am sorry but he should not have to give up his ring to pay for court/lawyer fees!!! He should have enough money to pay it off to begin with and if not I am sure he has other things he could sell!!!

  10. mayfieldroadboy says: Jan 19, 2011 9:58 AM

    $130,000 for legal fees? Just as lawyers before the bar are able to screw us, just think what the lawyers in Congress are capable of doing. And that, my friends, is the real problem with our society and governing body.

  11. livenbreathefootball says: Jan 19, 2011 10:07 AM

    It’s a Championship ring. He earned that himself. His ex-wife didn’t earn it. Her lawyers didn’t earn it. Like he said, this isn’t going to her or the kids, it’s going to her lawyers who probably ran up the bill.

    Of course, the judge has the ability to find another way.

  12. Jack Burton says: Jan 19, 2011 10:12 AM

    I’d through it away before I’d give it up to some sharks.

  13. flafreethink says: Jan 19, 2011 10:15 AM

    With the ongoing contract disputes between owners and the NFLPA the one thing everyone should consider is teams offering financial investmet classes for the players. These guys may have come from college, but very few have any idea how to manage their enormous saleries,and end up like this guy. Broke and unable to pay his bills. They blow their paychecks on houses, cars, toys and when the career comes to an abrupt end, they end up broke. Financial responsibility should be taught right at the start of their pro career, and a lot of bad decissions could be prevented.

  14. realitypolice says: Jan 19, 2011 10:15 AM

    toad8572 says:

    The attorney’s fees that he’s expected to pay are those of his ex-wife. Why in the hell is he required to pay the attorneys that are working against him? Let the ex pay for her own attorneys!
    ============================

    I hadn’t read the article that was linked above, so I didn’t realize it was for his wife’s legal fees.

    I would need to know a little more- did the court order him to pay her fees or did he agree to in a settlement? If it was court ordered, I’m with you. If he agreed to pay them knowing he couldn’t, then we are back to my original point.

    Either way, I am sure if you went through a list of what Chidi spent his money on, I’m sure he probably spent far more than 130k on far dumber things than attorney fees.

    He had a 12 year career, and was franchised in 1999 by the Buccaneers, so his career earnings are certain to be well over 20 million dollars.

    Oh, and by the way, he owns the company that represents Usain Bolt, amongst others.

    130k, whatever it is for, should not be a problem for him. If it is, that’s pathetic.

  15. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 19, 2011 10:16 AM

    “…one of far too many athletes who make millions in their 20s and 30s and go broke by age 40. ”

    – add OchoCinco & T.O. to that list.

  16. thenewenglandpatriots12 says: Jan 19, 2011 10:31 AM

    If it was a Sperbowl ring than it would be a totally different thing.

  17. mrsharkey9 says: Jan 19, 2011 10:35 AM

    Whatever. He is crying poor? Who cares if the lawyers got legal fees. This guy made over $10 million in his NFL career which included a signing bonus of over $6 million. He was represented by Eugene Parker (who represents Prime Time).

    You would think he would have proper financial planning and now he is broke and looking for sympathy.

    He made more money than anyone could imagine and now he is broke. I don’t feel sorry for him or the agent.

    Most of the readers here could retire and live off of one million let alone ten and won’t go broke.

    Chidi, where did the money go?

  18. deeppurple23 says: Jan 19, 2011 10:46 AM

    I’m sure the ex-wife and the attorneys spent a lot of time between the lines and they should get the value of the ring. The lawyers LOVE these cases because they can drag them out forever, there is no balancing of what is right for the kids, it’s assumed it is the mother and if the father has the guts to fit that then he is punished financially AND loses the kids. Some how just doesn’t seem like it was intended, and the wife can fit forever as the husband is paying both sets of attorneys unless she has a high paying job as well.

  19. simplesimon1 says: Jan 19, 2011 10:53 AM

    These are the type of stories that are both sad and frustrating. The guy just went broke trying to fight for custody of his children. My guess, just like anywhere in North America, he lost. Equal parenting privledges do not exist. A father has to go nearly broke fighting for the most modest of rights to be a father.

    In a country, and I’m from Canada but it’s the same here, where so many men don’t want to have anything to do with their children, we punish those that do. Now, I don’t know he didn’t waste a lot of his money wrongly, that’s true. But he still shouldn’t have to spend $130K for somebody else’s lawyer just to have rights to see his children. This story easily sums up what is exactly wrong with Canada and the USA. Time to take money back from some of these fiscally irresponsible companies and give it to regular people who need a break in paying their mortgages or fighting for equal parenting privledges.

  20. broncsfan says: Jan 19, 2011 10:56 AM

    And the search for an insane multimillionaire Rams fan itching to commemorate the year his team choked against a major underdog in the SB begins.

    Seriously, I can’t see them breaking $3000 on this. It’s just petty as hell.

  21. nesuperfan says: Jan 19, 2011 11:03 AM

    I read the linked story, and it says that her lawyers are fighting to get him to pay the $130K. What kind of f’ed up system do we have that she can run up a $130K tab, and then say, you pay it?? The freaking judge should have just said you both have the kids 50/50.

    I am not rich, but it cost me $25K to fight for my parental rights.

  22. giablommi says: Jan 19, 2011 11:08 AM

    If god forbid the Jets win a Super Bowl, you can pretty much guarantee that something like this is in the cards for Antonio Cromartie.

  23. breeshasabush says: Jan 19, 2011 11:09 AM

    I said it once and ill say it again……… PRO ATHLETES STOP GETTING MARRIED!!!!!! Over 50% of marriages end in divorce nowadays and im sure that percentage is way higher for pro sports players. PRENUP PRENUP PRENUP!!!! buuutt prenups seem to be ineffective now too there’s always some way around them so really whats the point…. STOP GETTING MARRIED YOU IDIOTS!

  24. krow101 says: Jan 19, 2011 11:12 AM

    I guess you can put links in here… but if you search the guy you’ll find quite a history of crazy behavior.

  25. panther17 says: Jan 19, 2011 11:20 AM

    1. I wouldn’t be in this situation. I can save money on 1/10th of the income he made.

    2. I’d go to jail before they took my NFCC Ring. I’d be like a dog, find some secluded place, bury my ring in a box, and say “F you, your not getting my ring”. Send me to jail.

  26. dempsey63 says: Jan 19, 2011 11:25 AM

    I heard a saying in a movie once, that “every time a wife takes wing an attorney gets your ring.”

  27. sfsaintsfan says: Jan 19, 2011 11:30 AM

    He should “lose” it.

    “Hey Chidi, we are here for the ring.”

    “I lost it.”

    What are they going to do, put him in debtors prison? We don’t have those anymore.

    Just go BK and let them try to collect from the turnip you are.

  28. goodjet says: Jan 19, 2011 11:34 AM

    Of course the only ones giving a thumb s down to a lot of these post are —- You know — Greedy Lawyers

  29. realitypolice says: Jan 19, 2011 1:03 PM

    panther17 says:
    Jan 19, 2011 11:20 AM

    2. I’d go to jail before they took my NFCC Ring. I’d be like a dog, find some secluded place, bury my ring in a box, and say “F you, your not getting my ring”. Send me to jail.
    ==================

    You’d go to jail for a CONFERENCE championship ring?

    If push came to shove, I think most people (and all of the smart ones) would prioritize their freedom over a piece of jewelry.

    The idea that these rings have some sort of mystical meaning is kind of silly. Go on Ebay right now and see how many are for sale. I know lots of rings on there are replicas, but plenty are not.

    Just another sports related thing that fans attach much more significance to than players do.

  30. godofwine330 says: Jan 19, 2011 1:22 PM

    The late great Marvin Gaye had an entire album on this subject. In one of the songs the lyrics go:

    You got a flair for style
    and the style is all the while
    What could I do
    The judge said she got to keep on living
    the way she accustomed to
    She trying to break a man
    I don’t understand
    Somebody tell me please, tell me please
    Why do I have to pay attorney fees (My baby’s)
    Attorney fees (Ooh baby)
    This is a joke
    I need a smoke
    Wait a minute…

    “The first thing we do,” said the character in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, is “kill all the lawyers.” Contrary to popular belief, the proposal was not designed to restore sanity to commercial life. Rather, it was intended to eliminate those who might stand in the way of a contemplated revolution — thus underscoring the important role that lawyers can play in society.

  31. frankvzappa says: Jan 19, 2011 1:28 PM

    he should just go to jail…we are all in prison in this hellhole NWO anyway…prison guard towers are already going up in parking lots, and the TSA will be groping you on entry to the grocery store so you can have your implanted chip scanned to get your rations…not much difference between the inside and outside if you ask me…the whole legal system is a farce, and nobody reading this is free…

  32. simplesimon1 says: Jan 19, 2011 1:33 PM

    Sorry guys, but many people on here are talking about how it’s pathetic that he doesn’t have the money left. First, I think it’s much more pathetic that he has to give up everything to lose the opportunity to see his children, but let’s do the math anyways.

    Lets make a nice round figure of 10 million.

    First, lets just assume with children, a wife and a career that 2 million (and it probably was much more) was spent on vacations and presents and housing, etc over his career. That leaves 8 million.

    Next, a divorce…. That’s half gone plus the house. So, we’ll say 500K for his and his wife’s lawyers (cause that’s how it works) plus 4 million if you split the 8 million, plus 500K for a new house, car, etc.

    So, we’re now down to 3 million. Still a lot of money, I agree.

    Out of that, now he decides he wants even partial custody. Well, his lawyer, lets assume, over the course of a couple years would have costed at least four times what his wifes cost. How do I know this? Because they always know the woman will win the case in custody battles if she wants to. Therefore, the lawyers charge the men way more due to the lawyers for the women knowing he’ll also have a court ordered payment from the man. So, easily, his lawyer would have been 750K, more likely closer to 1 million more.

    Now, that total of around 1.5 million left from my original amount is only available if he spent essentially nothing on himself over the last 6 years.

    I know, he spent badly. I get it. It still doesn’t explain why we live in a place and allow such unbelievable attrocities with equal parenting privledges to take place. It is pathetic. I said it earlier and I’ll say it again. All these men all over world wanting nothing to do with their children. Then you get the ones that actually want to see their kids and they aren’t allowed and, just for a topper, have to go bankrupt just for the privledge of being told by a court that they’ve lost….Sad

  33. patriot67 says: Jan 19, 2011 2:21 PM

    A couple years ago my boss called me into his office , he said Ricksta “thats what he called me “Ricksta he said take a look at this” . As he held up a check for $2,000 dollars. This is a check for 2 thousand dollars Ricksta that I have to pay my wifes Lawyer so he can sue me for more money in divorce court I couldn’t understand it as hard as I tried …but Mass law states that if a Husband supports a woman for over 15 years and they get a divorce then he has to pay her legal fee’s as well as his own This is after she kicked him out of the house had another man move in all because he works too much and when he came home the kids were not fed and the dishes were not done and she was sitting there on her PC chatting away with god knows who. You see if that was me I would have snapped like a dried piece of drift wood . Ive been in 3 relationships since then . They all end because I have no intention on getting married & if they leave me because of that then I figure they never really loved me to begin with & I saved my self from writing a check. I think that 2 grand and the 4 grand he spent on his lawyer , Should be their 17 year old sons College tuition instead the kid now has to go to work instead of furthering his education What a deal he got huh all the while who makes out. Only the ones who made up the whole marriage institution the lawyers and courts thats who, No other species has to get married do you think god is going top send them to Hades for living in sin? I think not. 130,000 for a divorce. Why dont they sit down the husband and wife and work this out. These Lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank!! & this is one football player that got hit in the head to hard too often. Id be in jail because I’d have told that judge “Sell your sister MF’er Why is this Judge worried about the Lawyers Paycheck? This should be of no concern of the judge at all since when are divorce judges , financial advisers? I think it’s more like this ummm A ” Uncle Judge I dont think this big Black man is going to pay me my $130,000 but Ive always wanted an NFC Championship ring Uncle please make him give it too me please I WANT IT NOW!!! WAAAA???

  34. patriot67 says: Jan 19, 2011 2:35 PM

    If this was a murder trial then …maybe I’d condone the Judge “making him sell the ring” but not for some hoe that screwed around on him the entire time they were married. No I just cant see the judge doing this & getting away with it. If I was Chidi Ahanotu. This would probably by now be a murder trial because of the Lawyer & the wife I’m surprised he didn’t snap already. I feel the main reason most of these Athletes are broke by the time they are 40 isn’t from buying homes and cars, thats stuffs basically stock like gold & silver, especially old rare American Muscle cars . The real reason they go broke is their Lawyers they soak them for everything and patting them on the back as they are doing it. So if a pro wants to buy a gouse for 1.5Mil. its gonna cost him 2.5 mil if he has a Lawyer “Too Protect him” LOL LOL HAHA Ill take my chances thank you very much

  35. patriot67 says: Jan 19, 2011 2:37 PM

    Sorry folks I meant to type “HOUSE” not Gouse I dont even have a clue what “gouses” are going for these days :)

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