NFL star Saquon Barkley has revealed that he will be converting all of his endorsement money into Bitcoin (BTC).
Barkley was the 2018 NFL offensive rookie of the year and plays as a running back for the New York Giants — a team that is also sponsored by Grayscale.
The 24-year-old explained the rationale for the move earlier today during an appearance on “The Best Business Show,” hosted by Bitcoin proponent and Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano. He noted that his research on inflation is what drove his interest in Bitcoin:
"We're seeing inflation and we're learning you can't save wealth. That's why I am going to be taking my marketing money in Bitcoin."
Barkley was joined on the show by Jack Mallers, the CEO of Strike, a payments company based on the Lightning Network. The NFL star cites the CEO as a key person who helped educate him on the benefits of investing in Bitcoin. Mallers was also highly influential in El Salvador’s embrace of Bitcoin.
As part of the move to convert his reported eight-figure yearly marketing endorsement money, Barkley will take direct deposits into his Strike account and instantly convert the money into BTC.
Barkley stated that he sees his opportunity in the NFL as a chance to emulate cult sports figures such as Lebron James of the LA Lakers, Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, by creating generational wealth for his family.
He emphasized that he can't generate that amount of wealth from his NFL salary alone, as a career in the NFL is short-lived and he runs a risk of a career-ending injury at any moment.
"When you see the KD's, the Lebrons and Bradys of the world and you want to create generational wealth, you can't do that with the sport that I play and the position that I play and coming off of injuries. When you sit out of football for a whole year, you realize that this game could be taken away from you."
During the show, Mallers offered advice to new investors by asserting that the question shouldn’t necessarily be focused on “Should I buy Bitcoin?” but more toward, “Should you store your money?” to counter inflation.
Barkley isn’t the first NFL star to convert payments into Bitcoin, and Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 30 2020 that NFL free agent and BTC proponent Russell Okung was using Strike to convert a portion of his NFL salary into BTC.
The NFL's great Tom Brady has also become involved in the crypto sector this year after he announced the launch of his NFT marketplace, dubbed “Autograph,” in April, and also hinted that he owned BTC the following month.
On June 29, Cointelegraph reported that Brady was set to take an equity stake in the FTX crypto exchange as part of an endorsement deal.