Mr. Jonathan Turley, a law professor from George Washington University and well-known legal commentator, published an article prompted by a lawsuit against Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Why is Mr. Brady the subject of a lawsuit? Mr. Turley explained:
Patriots football fan Michael Livieratos is doing something that once would have been considered a sacrilege in New England: He is suing former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Livieratos, 56, filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from Brady and “Shark Tank” co-host Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary for their marketing of FTX and crypto currency.
To be sure, Mr. Brady did not make a great life choice in attaching his name to a colossal fraud scheme. Moreover, Mr. Turley notes that Mr. Brady evidently lost some of his own money through poor investment decisions (at least he had skin in the game, I suppose). But how does Mr. Brady’s bad endorsement sense support a lawsuit by Mr. Liviertatos? We learn that Mr. Liviertatos lost his life savings investing with FTX — and he blames none other than the seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback:
Livieratos told the Washington Post that “as a New England Patriots fan my entire life, you can imagine the influence that Tom Brady would have.”
Mr. Livieratos confidently states that I can image what kind of influence Mr. Brady would have over his financial decisions. However, I cannot imagine in the way that Mr.Livieratos states that I should be able to imagine. I watched a good amount of football during the first half of Mr. Brady’s now 23-year career. (I was disappointed when he led the Patriots on a final drive to defeat my then favorite team, the Carolina Panthers, in Super Bowl XXXVII (2004)). Mr. Brady never struck me as anything more than a football player. The man clearly loves football. He is, by most accounts, the most accomplished and decorated football player of all time (greatest is another question — I will venture that Mr. Peyton Manning held majority recognition as the better quarterback for most of the first half of the 2000s) , and his acumen and attention to detail explain why he is a starting quarterback at age 45. I dare say that Mr. Brady seems to live for football. (Some may even go so far as to wonder whether his passion for football played a role in recent non-crypto events in the life of Mr. Brady (but we need not speculate here)).
However, brilliance on the football field does not necessarily say anything about the man off the football field. Perhaps Mr. Brady has talents outside of football, but if he does, he has kept them secret from the rest of us. We can safely say that his generalship on the field did not translate to having good sense in making crypto endorsements and investments. Excellence in one area does not entail excellence in an unrelated area, as I examined in the case of a certain failed New York City mayoral candidate.
There is nothing about being a fan of Tom Brady the football player that requires someone to take investment advice from Mr. Brady. I was a fan of Steve Smith on the Carolina Panthers (I made the case to a Steelers fan in my class that Smith deserved the NFL MVP in 2005 — but Smith did not win the MVP while the Steelers won the Super Bowl), but that did not cause me to break a classmate’s nose in gym class.
I conclude with Mr. Turley’s conclusion from his article:
Ultimately, however, celebrities sell themselves — and the rule for consumers remains “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware.”