In 2007, Antonio Cromartie of the Chargers emerged as one of the top young cornerbacks in the NFL, intercepting 10 passes. He was named first-team All-Pro. Last year, Cromartie, 25, mysteriously struggled. Mostly, his problems were tied to a nagging hip injury, but this weekend, some off-the-field troubles were revealed. Like dealing with his seven children who are scattered in five different states.
â€œLast year my head wasn’t in there,â€ Cromartie said. â€œI was dealing with my kids and their moms. It had my mind somewhere else.€ There are a lot of directions to be pulled when you have seven kids living in five states. Cromartie has been named in at least five paternity suits in the past two years … All of Cromartie’s children are under 5. He embraces their existence. His locker is adorned with their pictures. He talks with them often.
â€œThe Lord has them here for a reason,â€ he said. â€œTo not talk about my kids, it would be like I’m trying to hide something.€
He acknowledged it hasn’t always been so, but he is trying to take care of them financially.
â€œIt took me awhile to man up and say, ‘I gotta do what I’m supposed to do,’and accept my responsibilities,â€ said Cromartie, who is not married or engaged to any of the mothers. â€œI can’t point a finger at anybody else. I made a lot of bad decisions my first and second year in the league. I point a finger at myself.€
In case you’re scoring at home:
Calvin Murphy: 14 children by nine women (Houston Chronicle)
Travis Henry: 11 children by 10 women (Here via Outside the Lines)
Jason Caffey: 10 kids by eight women (various)
Shawn Kemp: Seven kids by six women (SI)
Antonio Cromartie: Seven kids by five women (Union-Trib)
Scott Skiles: Possibly eight out-of-wedlock kids (Phoenix)
Steve Garvey should be somewhere in there, but we can’t nail down an exact number.
Exorcise program (San Diego Union Trib)