Last week Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson posted on Twitter a picture of a receipt for what Johnson referred to as a “rookie dinner.” The bill for the dinner came to $17,747.86.
That brought Johnson in for some criticism, especially coming on the heels of Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant saying days earlier that it bugged him that he was forced to spend $55,000 on a dinner for veterans when he was a rookie.
Now Johnson is complaining that the criticism is unfounded.
“For those of you so concerned with MY business, I am grateful to be able to treat my O-line to such a great evening VOLUNTARILY!” Johnson wrote in response to that criticism.
For those of you so concerned with MY business, I am grateful to be able to treat my O-line to such a great evening VOLUNTARILY!—
Lane Johnson (@Lanejohnson65) June 08, 2014
Here’s a tip for Johnson: If you don’t want people commenting on what you consider “MY business,” don’t tweet pictures of $17,747.86 dinner receipts. Johnson tweeted the receipt because he likes showing off that he and his teammates can afford to spend on one dinner what most Americans have to work months to earn. It apparently never occurred to him that some people might think that kind of Twitter boasting is garish, and that he’d take some criticism for it. Once he got the criticism, he got upset.
Johnson still hasn’t explained who paid what for this “rookie dinner.” His first tweet suggested that the Eagles’ rookies paid for it. His second tweet suggested that he paid for it. One report said Johnson paid “a portion” of the bill.
Regardless of which player paid what, when players are going out to dinner and spending more than $1,000 a man, it’s easy to see why so many former NFL players go broke. As a 24-year-old who signed a contract last year that will pay him almost $20 million, Johnson may think he doesn’t have to worry about money. But he should talk to former players like Bernie Kosar and Mark Brunell and Vince Young and Warren Sapp and Jamal Lewis, just to name a few. All of them made more money than Johnson and all of them went bankrupt.
Maybe Johnson will turn out to be better about managing his money than those guys. Or maybe when his NFL career is over he’ll realize that he not only can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on dinner, but he can’t even afford to make ends meet. Sometimes when you’re a 24-year-old with a lot of money in your pocket, you need someone to be concerned about your business.