October 09, 2006
Shawn Kemp Loves Children
And the former NBA star is trying for a
comeback. Those were the two conclusions I found in this column by the Seattle PI's
Robert Jamieson. The
second I am willing to believe; the first is harder to swallow, in spite of this evidence from the column.
A local fitness foundation asked if Kemp would come to speak with kids. He didn't think
twice. Kemp also puts on an annual "Reign Man Classic" in which hoops teams compete and raise
money for high school basketball in Seattle.
"Shawn has pure love for youth in the inner city, which is a lot more than I can say for so many other
athletes in town," said Gordon Curvey, a Seattle producer of Music Inner City, a hip-hop TV show.
"He doesn't care about publicity, doesn't want it. His big heart is gold."
Others might have a different opinion about how much Kemp loves children, especially if they read, or
even have heard of, a famous
Sports Illustrated cover story.
Nearly one-third of all children in this country are born to unwed mothers. But this week, Sports
Illustrated reports that among professional athletes out-of-wedlock births are epidemic. And of
athletes in the major sports leagues, those in the NBA appear to have the greatest number of
cases. According to SI, one of the NBA's top agents says he spends more time dealing with
paternity claims than he does negotiating contracts. The agent tells the magazine that there might
be more kids out of wedlock than there are players in the NBA. According to Sports Illustrated,
Larry Johnson of the Knicks is supporting five children by four women, including two he has with his
wife, and Shawn Kemp of the Cavaliers, who is not married, has fathered seven children. Other
NBA players who have been the subject of paternity-related lawsuits include Patrick Ewing, Juwan Howard,
Scottie Pippen, Jason Kidd, Stephon Marbury, Hakeem Olajuwon and Gary Payton, as well as Larry Bird, who
is now the coach of the Pacers, and current NBC game analyst Isiah Thomas.
This City Journal
article is more
precise about Kemp's children.
Cleveland Cavalier power forward Shawn Kemp, 28 and unmarried when the SI article appeared, led the list
with seven illegitimate children born to six different women.
Now then, for the sake or argument, let's say that Kemp does love children. If so, he does not
understand — perhaps because no one ever told him — that kids do far better when they have
two married parents. If so, someone should tell him — and someone should tell Gordon Curvey and
Robert Jamieson the same thing.
Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.
(Jamieson says in the column that Kemp is now married to "Marvena" and that they have three
children. She may be one of the six women; if so, only five or six of his kids are now missing their
By way of contrast, you might want to look at this article on another NBA star, Doug Christie.
He behaves as a man should — and is thought to be strange for doing so.
Note to commenters: Given Kemp's record, it would be tempting to be crude about his past behavior — but let's keep this site fit for children, even Kemp's children.)
Posted by Jim Miller at October 09, 2006
01:57 PM | Email This
1. So, where does Wilt Chamberlain figure into this? If his claims are to be believed, he oought to have a couple thousand...
I do hope Kemp manages to turn his troubled life around.
Troubling indeed is the article about Doug Christie and his wife which drips with condescension. How dare he and his wife have a loving marriage! Are members of the Mainstream Media so far over the edge that traditional marriage actually makes them angry?
REAL MEN care for, support and raise their children.
Come on. No one thinks Doug Christie and his wife are strange for having a loving, traditional marriage. They are strange for naming their home "Infinite Love", holding remarriage ceremonies every year, her helping him in a fistfight, and his acknowledging her 60 times a game.
Nothing wrong with that. Bill, only the strawman inside your head is angry and dripping condescension. But the Christies are certainly not typical Americans, let alone typical celebrities. Hence the article.
is it still pc to call them 'bastard children?' why not? if it's such a grand thing to simply father children, why not get the whole package with it? fair is fair.
calling them bastards is not ok--but--honoring the irresponsible loose-cannon sperm bank 'Daddies' is celebrated as a "cultural thayng," right?
double-standard. do we see this in the Asian communities? the other ethnic communities? i don't. thus their curtural downfall. self-created. but not self-policed.
Bruce @#4. Read the first few paragraphs of the Christie article, "Instinctively, he reaches out with his right hand and finds hers. Their fingers interlock and over the next hour or so, it's nearly impossible to tell where one begins and the other one ends as they finish each other's sentences and share their ideas on love, marriage and their turbulent times during his 14-year NBA career.
You said it youself Bruce, "But the Christies are certainly not typical Americans".
Please don't tell me you think Shawn Kemp is a "typical American".
7. This whole issue is one of the great tragedies going on in the NBA---guys who are so full of themselves and going around "doing" the women who are throwing themselves at them, without any regard for what chaos it is creating for the kids made in the process. Those kids deserved better. i think this kind of thing is one reason why a lot of people are disgusted with the NBA. It would be nice for these guys to clean up their act and keep it in their pants instead creating chaos for all the kids fathered in their carelessness and selfishness.
I don't know about you all, but watching the Sonics 40th season commercials where Shawn lifts off from the foul line to execute a reverse tomahawk jam against the Knicks makes me long for early 90's Payton-Kemp era.
I'm not making excuses for Shawn, but the Sonics organization was remiss in not recognizing that Shawn was a kid who needed coaching both on and off the court.
Has anyone kept tabs on where his 8 bastard children (as of ~1997) are today ? (oops, I acknowledge that I was not being PC) The issue is; how is he as a father to the 8+ children that is the father of ? That would go alot farther in determining if he qualifies as any kind of "role model".
Me thinks that Jamieson went out on a limb again here, like he often does in his other editorials. It is good to see someone clean up their life and make a comeback, but it will be an uphill climb for Kemp. As a sports fan, I'd like to read an update on him after the upcoming NBA season is over.
This is what we get from the multiculturalist left. A failure to acknowledge that hip-hop culture is defective. An animal like mentality where men roam around siring as many children as possible is not a path to a successful human culture. I'd be interested to know how many of these children are at least being reasonably provided for, with some sort of father figure, Kemp or otherwise. It seems like there's also an incentive for women to get pregnant in this culture as a means of claim to paternal revenue, or potentially valuable genes of a future athletic child.
I blame a lot of this on NBA Commissioner David Stern for failing to police the drugs and other minor stuff that create a "broken window" scenario that ultimately condones disintegrating values. Growing up in Portland, the Blazers were generally great family guys who enjoyed their civic role. This in turn fostered great city-wide pride in the team and made for a fantastic franchise. As the hip-hop culture infected the sport in the mid 1990s, the path to demise was set. One of the most notorious practitioners in the rise of the defective NBA culture was Kemp, just to the North in Seattle.
I doubt Kemp's sudden love of children is anything more than an attempt to bail out a poor financial picture. Sadly, some left leaning dupes in the media like Jamieson, will believe anything.
You would think after the first few kids were born of these NBA-stop-of-the-week women that Kemp would have caught on to the fact that there's alot of women out there who want to sleep with rich NBA players and have kids that those rich fathers can then support. So, he was either incredibly stupid to this fact or did not care, and then did not use protection, none of which speak well of him. But that's his business I guess.
If he wants to help kids now, it really doesn't matter why he's doing it. Better image, money, whatever. It's the action that counts.
12. Bill C, I don't get your point. The Christies do some normal things. They do some things that are not normal. All of them (at least those in the article) are good things. Some of them are unusual enough, especially for celebrities, as to merit a newspaper article. This bothers you? Are you that paranoid?
13. Gee Bruce, what's "normal" ?
14. Bill, I should have avoided the word "normal". In my first post I used "typical" instead because I didn't want to imply that there's anything wrong with not being typical. The Christies sound like fine people and I admire their marriage. But your point is what exactly?
15. Bruce, my point was the same one Jim makes in the original posting. The media treats Christie and his wife as oddballs, and gives Kemp and company a pass.
You know I believe that there should be three things set up in order for the NBA to continue doing business. They know this is a problem and continue to look the other way, claiming all these women are groupies. They are not...
1. The morality clause in the NBA contracts should be honored if they have children outside of wedlock. Please see morality clause below...
Their morality clause in the NBA contracts states...
(a) The Team may terminate this Contract upon written notice to the Player if the Player shall:
(i) At any time, fail, refuse, or neglect to conform his personal conduct to standards of good citizenship, good moral character (defined here to mean not engaging in acts of moral turpitude, whether or not such acts would constitute a crime), and good sportsmanship, to keep himself in first class physical condition, or to obey the Team?s training rules;?
2. There should be trusts set up for these children preparing for after these deadbeats go broke and there is no longer funds to provide these children with food or education OR they try and hide their funds.
3. There should be parental classes established which are mandatory for each player to attend. Have mothers, children and old players come back and share the hardships they face after the limelight dims.
Also know - not all of these women are groupies. Some of us, myself included were with these men from high school (or earlier) and they lead us to believe that we will marry and at the last minute (for me 7 months into pregnancy) decide not to and have their agents run threatening intervence. It has taken me 10 years to proscute my deadbeat NBA dad. He even received a $600k disablity settlement with a misdemeanor plea bargain on the table. He then still refused to pay his support and claims to have spent the money.
When he was finally arrested you should have seen the hate mail I received, some from the minor league general manager from the team he then coached. It does not matter, I am a strong woman but I will say society has to stop supporting immoral, wrong and criminal behavior just because a guy can dunk a ball.
Thanks for posting this story there needs to be more awareness made of this issue.
17. Hey, Bill Clinton had an affair, so why not the rest of us? If the leader of our country does it so easy, it must be OK for the rest of us!
You see that morals start at the top and trickle down. When you have the president of your country having sex with interns, it really diminishes the 'evil' of it in many peoples eyes.