Being a father is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For some people, it isn’t a decision at all, as the responsibility is thrust upon them. Yet it is their responsibility no less. Parenting requires a certain level of maturity as well as the ability to consistently put the child’s needs beyond your own. There are many famous fathers in sports. Some of their children have even attempted to follow in their footsteps as athletes. However, there are a growing number of athletes who seem to thrive on having multiple children with a number of different partners.
Illegitimate children aren’t something new to the sporting world. There are a surprising amount of athletes with multiple kids, all from different women. Some of these athletes are big name stars. Others aren’t as big. An athlete’s popularity during his playing career could greatly affect how he supports his family after he’s done playing. After all, the big name guys get paid the most money, while those with normal careers tend to have not made nearly as much as their respective sports’ superstars. But no matter where they stand with their financials by the time all is said and done, you can be sure that they’re going to bear the brunt of the responsibility as parents. At least financially.
So many former players struggle to pay off child support, not because it’s too expensive but because they’ve blown all their money. It’s one thing to be so irresponsible as to conceive with multiple women, but then to recklessly spend money knowing that there are children to support is nothing short of selfish. But not all the fathers on this list are like this. While there are those that have shown themselves to be completely unfit for parenthood, there are others who’ve taken it in stride and make the best of their situation for both themselves and their children.
15 Chad Johnson
While it might’ve slightly overshadowed his actual playing career, Chad Johnson was famous for his on field antics. But it’s what the former Bengals receiver did off the field that landed him on this list. Having four children with two different women, Johnson hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2011. A member of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, Ochocinco hasn’t been managing his money too well, explaining his sudden move up north. Another reason for the 37 year old receiver’s sudden interest in playing for a CFL franchise might be the $16,000 child support payments he makes monthly.
14 Bennie Blades
Bennie Blades spent 10 seasons as a strong safety in the NFL, nine of those as a Detroit Lion, but Blades’ pro accomplishments might be out overshadowed by the fact that he once pulled a bazooka out at a strip joint. Yeah, he’s that guy. He’s also fathered six kids with just as many women. He had to take a high school teaching job to help pay his child support and in 2005 was arrested for failing to pay $400,000 to one of the women he’d knocked up. What’s more, Blades apparently paid $1.3 million in child support after taxes. That’s a tough pill to swallow but if he was such a sure shot, maybe he should’ve played quarterback instead?
13 Larry Johnson
The former first overall pick spent ten years in the NBA, five with the Knicks and five with the Charlotte Hornets. In that time frame, Johnson got a little careless with who he was sleeping with and how many women he was waking up next to. He now has five children coming from four different women. Well, apparently, he realized that he’d goofed sometime in his playing career and, in 1997, made it pretty clear to model Laura Tate that he wanted her to get an abortion. Instead, she went public with his threats. He’s now raked up over $300,000 in debt and nearly half of that amount is money he owes in child support.
12 Kenny Anderson
A fourteen yearlong NBA career that saw him play for a variety of team got Kenny Anderson a grand total of $63 million in total earnings by the time he retired. That could easily last a smart person a lifetime. But Anderson… well Anderson lost it all. He’s the father to seven children with five women and went broke, filing for bankruptcy in 2005. The same year his ex-wife Tami Roman sued him for missing his $8,500 per month child support payments. The matter was resolved out of court in 2012, after Anderson agreed to pay up on his $800,000 in missed payments.
11 Antonio Cromartie
The often vocal Jets cornerback is back in New York after a short stint with the Cardinals. It was with the Jets on HBO’s Hard Knocks that Cromartie was on camera struggling to list all of his children by name. He had to use two hands. Cromartie has 12 kids with eight women. You can cut the guy some slack for not remembering every one of their names, but seriously? 12 kids. That’s ridiculous. He could start his own flag football team along with some bench players with that many. After years of needless spending, Cromartie seems to have matured and is focusing his funds on his children.
10 Mike Tyson
The former boxing champ has a reputation for doing outlandish and controversial things both inside and outside the ring. Tyson has been married three times and has fathered eight children with an undisclosed amount of women. Though we can guess the number is at least three and goes up from there. Tyson once owed $51,949 to one ex-wife in 2003 and that’s only for one of his kids. Sadly, back in 2009, Tyson’s four year old daughter, Exodus, died after tripping on a treadmill machine and having her neck caught in the power cord. Though she was rushed to the hospital immediately, she died shortly after.
9 Shawn Kemp
While he officially has seven children – from six women – Kemp is rumored to have a good deal more than that. Notorious for sleeping around, the former Seattle Sonic spent 14 years in the NBA with four different teams. Meaning four different cities to indulge his various pleasures. Another excessive vice of Kemp’s? Drugs! In 2005, he was arrested in Washington. Police found 60 grams of marijuana on him as well as cocaine and a semiautomatic pistol. While the official number of kids is even for Kemp, rumors would suggest it’s closer to 11, or maybe even more seeing as he’s never publicly let the information slip.
8 Willis McGahee
Former NFL running back Willis McGahee once fathered three children in just two years in Buffalo. Having played in four different cities, McGahee’s fathered ten different kids with nine women. McGahee missed his entire rookie year, so he had plenty of time that year to get his little pee wee team started while “recuperating” from injury. Having last played for the Browns in 2013, McGahee is going on his second straight year no longer living on an NFL paycheck. Let’s hope he has better spending habits than some of the players on the list. It’s hard to feed ten kids selling insurance.
7 Muhammad Ali
Known as the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali knew how to please a crowd, as he was very talented at stringing words together and could always be counted on to turn a phrase. Well put those two things together and it’s no surprise to hear that Ali fathered nine children with five different women. Those might seem like a lot of potential Heavyweight champs, but seven of Ali’s children are girls. Yup, they outnumber their brothers almost 3:1. Recently, his most famous daughter, Lalia, was involved in a child support case with her ex-husband and former NFL star Curtis Conway.
6 Marshall Faulk
Marshall Faulk made a living off of running away, but there was no place to hide for the former NFL star once the waves of child support envelopes started coming in the mail. Faulk is the father of six children from three women. The Hall of Fame runner rushed for over 12,000 yards and 100 touchdowns in his career, but it’s the scoring he did off the field that’s causing him problems. Currently an analyst for NFL Network, Faulk, 42, looks like he’s done spreading around his Pro Bowl genes at this point in his life. Well, he’s probably done.
5 Ray Lewis
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is father to six children with four different women. But Lewis was surrounded by controversy long before baby number four was on its way. After being linked with a murder case, your reputation tends to take a hit. However Lewis has done all he could over the years to come off as a genuinely nice guy. What’s more, he’s all about the kids and even has his own charities, such as the Ray Lewis 52 Foundation, set on helping out the less fortunate. He’s very involved with all of his children and does his part to play an active role in their lives.
4 Derrick Thomas
Like Ray Lewis, Derrick Thomas might’ve fathered a lot of kids, but that didn’t stop him from being there for them and other children around the community. Thomas had his own Third and Long foundation where he would read to children around Christmas time and decorate as well as sign ornaments for them. Thomas fathered seven kids in total with five women. All have fond members of the Kansas City great. While most guys on this list ran away from their problems, Thomas wasn’t afraid to get active in his kid's lives. He was sadly killed in a car accident in 2000, however, and was only able to play a limited role in their lives.
3 Travis Henry
What is it with Buffalo Bills running backs and illegitimate kids? At the age of 36, Travis Henry has fathered 11 kids with 10 women. That’s something like three kids every decade. He actually had his first kid in high school. His second child was born during his days with Tennessee and six more came along during his NFL career. Since retiring, Henry has obviously had a lot of time on his hands seeing as he’s had three more. In 2009, when the total only reached nine children, Henry announced that he was broke. With an estimate of $170,000 per year going to child support, Henry has more than his fair share of responsibility to deal with.
2 Vladimir Guerrero
1 Oscar De La Hoya
The former boxer is used to dishing out the pain, but he’s the one that got a right hook when he was hit with a $62.5 million dollar suit in 2000 by one of the four women he’s had children with. The suit came after the woman, Shanna Moakler, saw De La Hoya with another woman at the Latin Grammys. You’ve got to be a special combination of brave and stupid to cheat on your partner at a popular televised event. Mother to one of his six children, Moakler was a successful model and actress who was convinced by De La Hoya to give up on her career in order to take care of their daughter. Evidently, things didn’t go as well as planned and she got pretty pissed when she saw him two timing her on live television.