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Financial woes of pro athletes with child support

There are plenty of professional athletes who are great parents to their children. Unfortunately, there are also a large number of athletes that show little regard to parenting their children. They recklessly have children with a number of different women, and instead of bonding with those children; they simply throw money at them in the form of child support.

However, it is believed by many that this hands-off and potentially detrimental way of parenting often catches up to professional athletes as footing the child support bill for a number of offspring can be financially debilitating.

Antonio Cromartie, famed cornerback for the NFL's New York Jets, is essentially a poster child for this trend. Cromartie has 10 children with eight different women; who are spread out among six different states. He is also currently married.

While Cromartie makes millions of dollars in salary, he is forced to pay $3,500 each month in child support for each of his children. This amounts to a stunning $294,000 a year in child support alone. Considering how relatively short an athlete's football career can be, it is a wonder how he will continue to make these payments once he is out of the league.

In 2009, Sports Illustrated revealed that 78 percent of NFL players are broke within two years of retirement. For professional basketball players, it takes about five years.

If Cromartie is the "before picture", NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens could be considered the "after picture". Owens, who enjoyed immense fame during his time as a professional football player, recently filed for bankruptcy. He has four children with four different woman and was ordered pay $240,000 per year for each child.

The list of athletes facing hefty child support bills goes on. Since an athlete's salary fluctuates, they are also bombarded with lawyers trying to bring them to court to work out new child support agreements for their ex-lovers.

This is not a trend confined to just athletes. Musicians, movie stars and other high-profile individuals can often fall into the same category. What we all must remember is that the only victims in these cases are the children. Later in life, they might not receive the money that they need for basic living expenses. More importantly, they are robbed of the chance of bonding with a father as they grow up.

Source: The Grio, "Does 'baby mama drama' make pro athletes go broke?" Kunbi Tinuoye, April 20, 2012

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