One of the saddest things that we come across in sports today is when a professional athlete makes a decision to not support his children. Having a child is a big time responsibility. When you choose to take that risk of having a child it is vital for a man to in fact be a man and support his child, and with this support you in turn are setting up that child for a better future. Unfortunately there are men today in the NFL that choose only to act like a man on the football field.
Off the field some NFL players choose to not take care of their children in a variety of different ways. Some NFLers are physically abusive and hurt their children physically, and anyone who resorts to this kind of behavior should not be allowed to have kids. The most popular way of being a deadbeat dad if you’re an NFL athlete is to not pay your child support. This is basically the equivalent of giving up on your child financially, and this makes it harder for the child to succeed in life. There are many other ways unfortunately that NFL greats have chosen to be disgraceful parents.
Here are 15 Great NFL players Who Were Terrible Fathers:
15 Warren Sapp
Warren Sapp was a hall of fame defensive lineman during his NFL career, but now he is just a deadbeat dad who likes to fall behind on his child support payments. Sapp’s legendary playing career included a Super Bowl win, a defensive player of the year honor, and multiple pro bowl and all pro team selections as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He has not had as much success keeping up with his child support, and owes his ex wife over $700,000 five years into being made liable to pay $60,000 a month for child support and alimony. Falling behind this badly surely will cause his children to think much less of him. Sapp was always thought of as arrogant person among opposing players, and now that may be what his own kids label his persona to be.
14 Clint Session
Clint Session was far from a great football player on the field, but he had a five year run in the NFL which isn’t bad for a fourth round pick. For his career Session had 291 tackles, two and a half sacks, and four interceptions. He played four years for the Indianapolis Colts and one year for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and things seemed to be going just fine after football when he took ownership of a smoothie bar in Indianapolis.
What Session failed to take ownership of was his daughter. Session was sued for not making child support payments to help the mother of his child raise his young daughter. The daughter is blind, and those child support payments are very much needed. Let’s hope this child gets the support she needs sooner rather than later.
13 Terrell Owens
Terrell Owens was one of the most entertaining players the NFL has ever employed, and he should be in the Hall of Fame based on his football accolades and not his achievements as a parent. Most athletes are stuck with paying child support after their playing career is over. What athletes do not take into account on occasion is that once they’re done playing their salary will be much less than when they were playing.
The child support payments stay the same. Terrell Owens had to get his child support payments cut in half after he was done playing, and his baby mommas were not all too happy with that decision. Dr. Phil had Terrell Owens on his show to explain his situation. His financial mismanagement is mostly to blame for his lack of being able to pay his child support, and hopefully he can get back up on his feet financially for the sake of his kids.
12 Antonio Cromartie
Antonio Cromartie has been named a pro bowler four time throughout his NFL career and is responsible for the longest play in NFL history when he returned a missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown, but he is most known for the outrageous amount of children he has fathered. Cromartie’s last season was with the Indianapolis Colt in 2016. Before signing with the Colts there was a chance he was going to get arrested for failure to pay child support, and Cromartie has fathered at least 12 children with eight different women.
He pays $336,000 in child support each year. One of his baby mammas complained saying the only way her child could find out about their father was by doing a Google search, and even though Cromartie can name all his children, he needs to be more involved in all of their lives.
11 Jamal Lewis
Many know Jamal Lewis as the man who had the second most rushing yards in an NFL season in 2003 (now third most) when he rushed for 2,066 yards and currently ranks 21st on the all-time NFL rushing yards list, but many don’t know that he has been a deadbeat Dad off the field. Lewis was arrested in 2012 for failure to pay his child support. That same year he had declared for bankruptcy stating he could not pay off his debts, and when Lewis was arrested later in 2012 he was charged with child abandonment.
Lewis was such a lousy father that he failed to have any contact with his son for a year at the time of the arrest. Lewis wasn’t there for his son emotionally, physically, or financially, and even though he was capable of doing so.
10 Bennie Blades
Bennie Blades had a long career in the NFL that spanned almost 10 seasons primarily with the Detroit Lions, but unfortunately he had six kids with six different women and was even arrested for failure to pay child support. When Blades was arrested he had been working as a substitute teacher. The cops pulled him out of the school he was teaching at, and arrested him due to failure to pay child support and failure to appear in court. Most of Blade’s ex’s confessed that he was indeed a good father. Blades was a great football player for the Detroit Lions, and even made it to the pro bowl in 1991. According to the state of Michigan Blades may not have been a Pro Bowl father due to the balance he owed on his child support payments.
9 Andre Rison
Andre Rison had a long NFL career which included five pro bowls and a super bowl championship in 1996 with the Green Bay Packers, but he now has little to no money to his name. His financial woes have caused him to not be able to be the best Dad he can be to his child. From August 2008 through August 2011 Rison owed over $10,000 in child support payments, and his child and the mother of his child were living in Arizona when Rison was summoned to court for his missed payments.
Financial irresponsibility happens all too often among professional athletes. What Rison and other athletes need to do instead of being irresponsible with their money is save a little for their children, and doing that won’t give you the persona of a deadbeat dad.
8 Jermichael Finley
Jermichael Finely was fortunate enough to be able to win a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers as Aaron Rodgers security blanket at the tight end position, but it is unfortunate that he can’t be a real man and take care of his kids. Finley’s career was cut short due to injury giving him more time to focus on life outside football. In 2012, he had a confrontation with the mother of his child in a bar, and after he admitted to holding back on his child support payments he smashed her phone. Chelsie Cough’s not only got Finley to admit to holding back on his child support payments that night. Cough’s also caught Finley at the bar cheating on his wife, and for the kids’ sake let’s hope now that Finley is not in the NFL that he is working on his judgment skills.
7 Bob Whitfield
Bob Whitfield was an offensive lineman in the NFL for over a decade, and was even good enough to make it to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl in the same year with the Atlanta Falcons in 1998. Whitfield’s performance off the field hasn’t been as good when it comes to his parenting. Whitfield had been accused by his ex-wife of not paying his child support for almost four years, and she said this all while being in the public eye. Sheree Whitfield was on the cast of the Real House Wives of Atlanta. Sheree and Bob argued while appearing on the show for the whole world to see, and them bickering about how they should be parenting on live television probably doesn’t bode well for either of their images as parents.
6 Charles Rogers
Charles Rogers seemed to be poised to have a great NFL career after he was selected second overall in the 2003 NFL draft, but injuries and drugs derailed what could have been. Rogers also failed as a father. He irresponsibly had five children with four different women, and he chose marijuana over his kids. Rogers also liked to drive under the influence. He has been arrested several times since his football career ended, and these arrests mainly were for things related to alcohol and drug use. Rogers also admitted that he smoked weed every day when he was in the NFL. Because of a failed drug test by Rogers he had to pay back the Detroit Lions over six million dollars of his salary. It’s kind of hard to be a good father when you are addicted to drugs and alcohol and getting arrested numerous times.
5 Derrick Thomas
Derrick Thomas is a hall of famer who lost his life way to soon, but this could have been avoided and his children were left without a father. Thomas has seven children with five different women. He lost his life at the age of 33 years old because he was driving over 100 miles per hour on the way to Kansas City international Airport and got in a major car accident that left him paralyzed. A blood clot then ensued, and to make matters worse Thomas did not leave a will so the five women with his children had to go through a lengthy court battle to get the finances they needed to take care of his children. Thomas should have realized driving recklessly was not only endangering himself but also his children.
4 Travis Henry
Travis Henry made a living out of juking out defenders while playing running back for the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, and Denver Broncos, but he has been running for negative gains post football by failing to pay his child support. Some men and women struggle with having a child. Henry has been one of the most fertile men the NFL has ever seen, and he has fathered 11 children by 10 different women. In March of 2009, Henry was arrested for not making his child support payments to nine of the 10 women. In that same year he was arrested for drug trafficking and sentenced to three years in a federal prison, and this has made it difficult for him to be a good father.
Henry also had to pay a $4 million fine for his drug trafficking arrest which is less money than his children, who need it, will receive.
3 Ed Hartwell
Ed Hartwell played six seasons in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Falcons, and has found himself in big trouble while trying to gain custody of his daughter. Keisha Knight Pulliam is Hartwell’s ex-wife and she refuses to allow Hartwell to even be in the infant daughter’s presence. This may sound like Hartwell is trying to be a good father, but it is also rumored that he tried to have his ex-wife have a miscarriage while his daughter was still in the womb. If this is the truth Hartwell is just as despicable as the deadbeat fathers who have not paid their child support. Let’s hope that Hartwell at least agrees to pay child support, and that notion may allow him to spend time with his daughter.
2 Darnell Dockett
Darnell Dockett enjoyed a ten year career in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals and overcame a lot to get to where he is today, but that does not justify the acquisition that he is a deadbeat Dad. Amelia who is Dockett’s baby mamma accused him of being a lousy father on Father’s Day back in 2015. Instead of spending time with their child on the holiday meant to honor him, he was on vacation in Costa Rica with R&B singer Ashanti. Ashanti is a gorgeous woman but no women should come before a man’s child. Amelia claimed that Dockett has put women before their child on numerous occasions, and that is ethically wrong. Dockett’s playing career has been over for over a year now and the time he spent playing football needs to be reassigned to being a great father.
1 Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson missed a year of football due to his terrible parenting. Peterson has been one of the best running backs in football over the last decade, but the major blemish on his resume is that he is a deadbeat dad. One of Peterson’s children sadly passed away at the age of two years old. He never saw the child until he was on life support after being assaulted. This didn’t seem to faze him as he vowed not to sit out a week of football to grieve this loss, and he has been accused several times of not having much interest in any of his kids. His most blatant example of being a deadbeat Dad came when he beat his son with a switch bruising the child pretty badly back in 2014.