Athletes are some of the highest paid people in the world, making millions of dollars to play sports, while earning even more millions sponsoring products. That leaves them with huge bank accounts and plenty of options to travel like kings and queens when they need to get anywhere, including buy private jets, massive car collections, and private boats. It’s the perk of making millions that you don’t have to slum it back with the regular folks, otherwise known as fans, in economy class if you don’t want to, and they can keep a private life this way, flying and driving in style.
But then there are those athletes that still travel like commoners, and wait in line at the airport like any normal person would and buy cars because they get them from point A to point B quick and easy, without making a flashy statement and costing millions of dollars. In this list, you’ll see athletes who have no problem rubbing shoulders with their fans in the airport, or keep their transportation cheap in order to save as much money as they can. And then there are those athletes who go all out and travel like kings, and don’t mind dropping large amounts of money on a fancy ride.
25 Commoners: Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby is one of the best hockey players in the world and has helped lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup three times. But that doesn’t mean Crosby is above taking commercial flights during the summertime, as the Canadian hockey player is seen here taking a photo with a fan as they wait for a plane. According to CBC, Crosby signed a 12 year, $104 million deal in 2012 with the Penguins, so he could easily afford a private jet, but he is perfectly fine being friendly with the people waiting like anyone else.
24 Commoners: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman has been one of the top draws in the WWE for nearly two years and is one of the strongest wrestlers in the ring, as he was in strongman competitions before getting into wrestling. But even now, as the Monster Among Men in the WWE, Strowman is kicking it with the regular people at the airport, waiting to get to the next city. With wrestlers being independent contractors in WWE, they have to pay their own way to each show, so most wrestlers will save any money they can going on commercial flights unless of course, you are the biggest name in the company.
23 King: Floyd Mayweather
Floyd Mayweather is one of the richest athletes in the world, as according to Forbes, he made over $275 million for his fight against Conor McGregor. That’s one days’ worth of work for him in what was a huge fight, so it’s no surprise that Mayweather is flying the luxury life in this private jet, complete with a welcome mat. Money Mayweather has been named the top earner for athlete’s multiple times, as his fights bring in millions of dollars in buy rates.
22 Commoners: Lebron James
LeBron James is considered the best basketball player in the NBA today and some put him in the conversation as best all-time. With eight straight finals appearances, he knows how to bring a team to the NBA Finals. But here, he’s waiting for bags like anyone else at the airport, dressed like any common person would as they get on a flight. According to CNBC, Lebron signed a $154 million contract with Los Angeles this off-season, so he could fly private all he wants, but he’s still a man of the people.
21 Commoners: Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey was one of the biggest names in MMA in history. She put female fighters on the map, becoming the first UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion after signing with the UFC in 2012. She would make six title defences before losing the title, and today she finds herself in the world of professional wrestling as one of the top draws in WWE. So like any wrestler, she has to find her own way to each show, which means kicking it back in economy class. According to Forbes, Rousey made $14 million in 2016, but she is a wrestler now and needs to save when she can, which she seems fine doing.
20 King: Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson used to be a professional wrestler before he became one of the most sought after Hollywood stars in the world, and with his millions earned from Sports Entertainment and movies, he has built himself a nice collection of cars. According to Car Keys, his collection includes a Pagani Huayra, which cost $1.3 million. He also owns a custom Ford F-150 truck, a Ferrari LaFerrari, and the luxury car, Rolls-Royce Wraith. He has a few other cars, but needless to say, The Rock travels like a king.
19 Commoners: Randy Orton
Randy Orton has been with the WWE since 2000 and is one of the longest active members of the roster today. At 38 years old, he doesn’t have the same schedule he had before, where he has to fly to a new city each night, but when he does, he has no problem flying with fans and taking photos in the airport with them, as he’s one of the nicer wrestlers in person. According to Business Insider, Orton made $2.9 million in 2018, making him one of the highest paid in the company. But as his career slows down, he needs to save up for the rest of his life.
18 King: Tom Brady
Tom Brady is considered by many to be the best football player of all-time, mostly because he is one of only two players to have won five Super Bowls, and the other player only has five because Brady was his quarterback all those years. Brady’s salary is $20 million per season, according to ESPN, and the New England Patriots quarterback has the mansion, the supermodel wife and also an amazing car collection fit for a king, which includes a Cadillac Escalade, a Lexus, an Audi R8 and an Aston Martin.
17 Commoners: Alfred Morris
Alfred Morris has played seven seasons in the NFL as a running back, first in Washington, then Dallas and then last year in San Francisco. He signed a four-year, $2.2 million deal in Washington, a two-year $3.5 million deal in Dallas and according to CBS, his deal with the 49ers is worth the league minimum, just shy of a million dollars. With millions of dollars in his bank, however, Morris is making sure he has money after his playing days, and still drives the car he bought for $2. The Mazda Sedan, known as Bentley, has got him around just fine, showing that athletes don’t need the big cars and fancy toys in their life.
16 King: John Cena
John Cena is the biggest professional wrestling star in the United States and has been the top draw of the WWE for over 15 years. With that, he has made millions and is the highest paid wrestler in the company, according to Forbes, Cena was paid $10 million last year with the WWE and that doesn’t include the money he earns from his movies. It’s also no secret that along with using the private WWE jet, he also has an amazing car collection that includes plenty of classic cars like Camaros, Chargers, and of course some newer models that are fit for the king of the ring.
15 Commoners: Simone Biles
Simone Biles became a household name during the 2016 Summer Olympics as she was part of the group known as the Final Five. She captured four gold medals and a bronze medal at the Olympics and even earned her the flag bearer honor during the closing ceremonies for the United States. But Biles is still considered an amateur, which means the money isn’t rolling in like other professional athletes get, so it means Biles has to curl up in economy class on her way to competitions and catch a nap just like everyone else. According to Time Magazine, however, Biles already has a net worth of $2 million through sponsorships.
14 King: Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor may be the king of the Octagon in the UFC, as he held two titles in two different weight classes. But his attitude outside the Octagon definitely also says king, as McGregor has been known to taste the high life, as this rags to riches story has seen McGregor go from nearly broke, to being the biggest name in MMA. According to Forbes, McGregor was guaranteed $30 million for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, but he ended up making over $100 million when it was all said and done due to the amount of buys the pay-per-view got.
13 King: Lionel Messi
When someone asks who is the King of soccer in the world, the answer is one of two people, and one of them is Lionel Messi. The Argentinian soccer star is paid $40 million a season to play for Barcelona, according to Forbes. With all that money, Messi flies like a king, as he rents a 16-seat private jet, with his number 10 on the tail, for $15 million. He pays around $630,000 a week for the plane and could buy it outright since he has a net worth between $250 million and $285 million.
12 Commoners: Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow was one of the most exciting football players to come out of college, as the former Heisman Trophy winner had the ability to run as a quarterback and was one of the nicest guys off the field. But even after being drafted in the first round in 2010 by Denver, Tebow’s time in the league only lasted three seasons, and now he is trying to make it as a baseball player. According to Forbes, the minor league salary Tebow will get is $1,700 a month, so he isn’t flying private any time soon. But that’s fine with Tebow, who has a reputation for doing anything for fans, even stopping to take photos and sign autographs.
11 King: Cristiano Ronaldo
The second answer to who is the king of soccer would be Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a five-time winner of the best soccer player in the world award. Ronaldo is also one of the most valuable players in the world, as he makes $30 million a season. According to the British Sun paper, the soccer star bought his own Gulfstream G650 for $32 million, and he can carry 18 people in it. Considering he just got transferred to Italy, at least he can ride in style when trying to get back to his native Portugal.
10 Commoners: PK Subban and Lindsey Vonn
P.K. Subban is one of the hottest stars in the NHL today and is known for being a player with a lot of personality in a league that generally looks down upon it. He is known for his style and flare, on and off the ice, but that doesn’t mean Subban is above kicking it with regular people on a plane, even after signing a massive eight-year $72 million contract, according to TSN. Subban is such a nice guy, he is always seen smiling with fans and donating money to charities in whichever city he plays in, so he has little issue being around people who love the game of hockey.
9 Commoners: Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan is the face of women’s soccer in the United States and has won a FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Olympic Gold Medal with Team USA in her career. She currently plays for the French club Lyon and makes $33,000 per month, according to Sports Illustrated. It’s a good chunk of money for a female soccer player, as women still battle to get paid the same as men, but it also means she isn’t taking private plans like the top male stars in the sport and has to take regular flights when returning to the US from Europe. At least here she is all smiles with a soccer fan and is one of the best ambassadors of the sport.
8 Commoners: Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova is one of the best female tennis stars in the world and broke onto the tennis scene at a young age, becoming the world number one player by age 18. She has continued to be one of the most successful players even into her 30s, which has led to plenty of money, as according to Forbes, she has been named the highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned US$285 million since turning pro. But even all that money doesn’t mean the Russian tennis star is always taking private jets, as she is seen her at LAX airport, going through the same areas regular passengers do waiting to be picked up.
7 Commoners: Serena Williams
Serena Williams is often called the greatest tennis player of all time, as her powerful game has helped her win more Grand Slam titles than anyone. She has been ranked number one for a combined 319 weeks, and according to Forbes, she was the highest paid female athlete in both 2016 and 2017, earning $29 million and $27 million in those years. But even pro athletes have to go through the airports like anyone else and they don’t get special treatment. It’s nice to see even the best in the world has to mind her own bags just like anyone else.
6 Commoners: Mitch Trubisky
Mitch Trubisky is the quarterback for the Chicago Bears and even though he signed a nice $29 million contract with the Bears, according to CBS Sports, he still showed up to his rookie camp with his grandma’s car. That’s right, this multi-million-dollar athlete showed up in a 1997 Toyota Camry, not yet touching any of the millions he had spent. That’s smart for a player in a sport that doesn’t usually have a long shelf-life. Save as much as you can, but just make sure to do grandma a favor and return the car with a full tank of gas.