NPO in the media

Holstein Debates Nancy Grace on CNN Headline News

April 15, 2008

“Caffey has paid millions of dollars in child support, amounting to 95 percent of what he was ordered to pay, and now they want to jail him for the 5 percent he has been unable to pay.”

Boston, MA–What possible defense can there be for a man who has paid almost no child support in recent years and is hundreds of thousands of dollars behind? Undoubtedly, my readers know many possible legitimate reasons, because they too are being hounded by a rigid, punishment-oriented child support collection system.

On April 7, I appeared on the Nancy Grace Show on CNN Headline News. I sort-of defended Jason Caffey, an ex-NBA player, from the demonizing stereotypes pounded out by our hostess. You can watch what happened here.

In many ways, Caffey deserves condemnation. He has had ten children by eight different women, only one of whom he was married to. For awhile, the good times rolled, and he didn”t seem to care much about the children he was leaving in his wake. He was a valuable sixth or seventh man for the Chicago Bulls in their Michael Jordan glory years, winning two championship rings. He was paid millions of dollars. He thought the good times would never end.

According the evidence, when he had the money, he paid his child support. But now he has been out of the league for several years, and the good times are over. Naturally, he is no longer able to pay anywhere near what he was ordered to pay during his glory years. So, of course, the arrearages are piling up. To learn more, click here. He has already been incarcerated once, and further incarceration is threatened. Some of the mothers are bringing charges, hoping to extract what few dollars are left before the other mothers take their pound of flesh.

On the show, I argued that Caffey has paid millions of dollars in child support, amounting to 95 percent of what he was ordered to pay and that now they want to jail him for the 5 percent he has been unable to pay. I also argued that jailing him obviously helps nobody, that he should be allowed to pursue his new business interests in the hope that he can earn some money and support his children.

In these fast-paced shock-jock shows, you never get to say all you would like to say. I condemned Caffey for having so many children by so many women, and obviously failing to be a real father to them. I did not have a chance to say that the mothers bear an equal degree of blame. Having sex with a traveling, big-name rich superstar is exciting for many women, and it may even promise a big pay day if she should get pregnant, but it is just as irresponsible to the children as was his behavior.

But, in a complete historical flip from all of recorded history, only the man must pay a price for his irresponsibility while the mother garners money, public support, a lovable child, respect as a courageous single mother, and victimhood status.

Both children and society deserve better than nine irresponsible parents. But the problem will not be helped by putting one of them in jail.

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