Today, as I wandered blurry eyed out of the bedroom, my husband had ESPN on as he was awake and that’s what he does when he’s awake. The topic of the show was apparently sports stars with illegitimate children. They were interviewing a few women who have children with some basketball players and how they feel about the situation. The father of one child has 10 children with 9 other women and will not pay child support to any of them, his 15 year old son carries a basketball card of him around as a picture. His mother was interviewing that she wished he was more involved but that she loved her son and that they had a good life. The discussion then turned to what the members of the panel thought of sports stars who have multiple children with multiple women. There were two men, one of whom was a lawyer for custody cases, and a woman on the panel.
The first male immediately went into blaming the women who were gold-diggers and just trying to make money out of these men. He claimed that they seduce the men who cannot help themselves and will have sex without condoms and then get pregnant and try and take all of their money. He talked about how the women were devious and just after the money and the fame. The second panelist decided that it was all societies’ fault. Society, he claims, tells these men that everyone desires them and they are expected to have lots of women so of course they do it and then the women take advantage of their vulnerability. He also claimed that many of these men are coming from homes where they are raised by grandmothers or single mothers so they are not getting the proper “education” in how to protect themselves from these women. So you got that, if it’s not the women, who have sex with the men, faults, than it’s their mothers and grandmothers fault for not teaching them right.
The one women panelist got a few sentences where she mentioned where is the responsibility for the men to wear condoms. Of course she was immediately shot down that that just wasn’t possible and “temptation” was too much for these poor men without fathers to explain to them how to handle it. It just blows my mind that the male panelists didn’t want to make the men take any responsibility, when it’s obvious that there are plenty of men out there who have not spawned children and then refused to pay for them. Lebron James is one of the biggest basketball players out there, if anyone could get ten-twenty women knocked up easily, it would be him. Yet he is able to be a responsible father and human being. Meanwhile, the panelists were defending a player who got caught selling cocaine as “having to try and pay for all his kids”. This man makes tons of money, yet it still is “poor him”.
Also nobody even mentioned once that maybe the way our society glamorizes athletes creates situations where irresponsibility and feelings of ownership of women can easily be developed. I also thought that there was some “those wild inner-city kids can’t control themselves” attitude going on when talking about how many of these players came out of “certain types” of neighborhoods that did not give them good male role models.