Miami Dolphins defensive tackle A.J. Francis drives an Uber after practice to make some spending money and gain interview experience in hopes of getting into a career in broadcasting, CBS Miami reports.
Francis has a $500,000 contract for the upcoming year, but he won’t receive his first paycheck until July—and there is still a chance he may not make the team.
"I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket," Francis said following the Dolphins’ offseason practice Monday. "Where I’m from, when you have a job, where are you when that job is over?"
Off the field, Francis makes $40 to $50 an hour driving around Miami, and gets to talk to plenty of customers. He works on his interviewing skills by filming his conversations with his fares and uploads them to YouTube.
Francis is currently completing his master’s degree in international security and economic policy, and said he believes strongly in Uber’s impact on the market.
"Everywhere Uber is, it thrives," Francis said. "The resistance comes from taxi drivers who don’t want to get beat out, because they know they can’t compete. Which is funny to me, because in no other aspect of American culture are you allowed to stifle capitalism."
Many of his teammates and coaches like to tease the 6-foot-5 330-pound lineman about his side job, but his wife said she respects his determination.
"I admire him for it," his wife Tatiana said. "You always have to have a hustle, you know? Football is something that doesn’t last forever."