Athletes have every right to do as they please in their spare time, but that’s not going to stop us from talking about these famous athletes with big families. In fact, some of them might surprise you – whether it be the athlete in question or the number of kids they’ve fathered in their lifetime.
We all know how much time, energy, and effort is required when raising a child. It requires long and sleepless nights, hectic mornings, and nonstop afternoons. And while athletes having children is nothing new, athletes with big families can be a little puzzling to some people.
After all, athletes are busy enough as-is. They’re devoted to their careers and must remain focused 12 months out of the year if they want to perform at the highest level possible. That’s not to say they can’t double as a parent, but it’ll certainly provide its fair share of challenges.
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These Athletes With Big Families Will Surprise You!
When most athletes prepare to have their first child, they try to time it during the offseason so they don’t miss any time on the court, field, ice, or track. That might be easy to do once or twice, but things start to complicate themselves when you’ve had your fifth, sixth, seventh, and so on.
Personally, I can’t imagine how difficult it is to juggle a career as a professional athlete and a life as a parent. That’s why I salute anyone who can make it work – and an extra salute to the athlete’s significant other, who likely picks up a lot of the slack during the season or playoffs.
We’re not ones to judge and definitely aren’t here to distinguish right from wrong – athletes with big families have every right to do so. We are, however, here to highlight and showcase some of the most prominent athletes with big families – that way, you can judge them how you see fit.
15. Ray Lewis – 6 Children
Ray Lewis is a Hall of Fame linebacker who spent 17 seasons in the NFL – all of which with the Baltimore Ravens. They drafted him 26th overall in 1996 and he went on to win two Super Bowls and two Defensive Player of the Year awards with the team. He’s the all-time leader in tackles.
Outside of football, Lewis is a father to six children (with four women). He has four sons – Ray Lewis III, Rayshaan, Rayshad, and Ralin – three of which play football. He also has two daughters – Diaymon and Kaitlin. Despite having six children, Lewis has never been married.
14. Shawn Kemp – 7 Children
Shawn Kemp is a retired power forward and center who played 14 seasons in the NBA – most of which with the Seattle Supersonics. He was a six-time all-star that averaged 14.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 20.7 minutes per game (1,051 games).
Outside of basketball, Kemp is a father to seven children (with six women). Two of his sons play basketball in college – his son Jamon Kemp plays at Southeastern Louisiana University and his son Shawn Kemp Jr. played at the University of Washington. Neither look like NBA material.
13. Kurt Warner – 7 Children
Kurt Warner is a Hall of Fame quarterback who played 12 seasons in the NFL – mostly with the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. He’s a two-time MVP and one-time champion who threw for 32,344 yards and 208 touchdowns in 116 games started. He had a 67-49 record as a starter.
Outside of football, Warner is a father to seven children (all with his wife Brenda Carney Meoni) – Kade, Elijah, Sierra Rose, Sienna Rae, Jada Jo, Zachary, and Jesse Jo. Brenda had Zachary and Jesse Jo in a former relationship, but Warner adopted them and has been there ever since.
12. Dan Marino – 7 Children
Dan Marino is a Hall of Fame quarterback who played 17 seasons in the NFL – all of which with the Miami Dolphins. They drafted him 27th overall in 1983 and he went on to throw for 61,631 yards and 420 touchdowns. He finished his career with a 147-93 record in 240 games started.
Outside of football, Marino is a father to seven children (with two women) – six of which with his wife Claire D. Veazey. The other child was kept a secret for quite a while because it was a result of an affair Marino had with CBS employee Donna Savattere. It was a shocking announcement.
11. Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson – 8 Children
Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson is a retired wide receiver who played 11 seasons in the NFL – 10 with the Cincinnati Bengals and one with the New England Patriots. He was a six-time Pro Bowl receiver who caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns in his career.
Outside of football, Ochocinco is a father to eight children (with seven women). He has quite the large family and it’s only growing bigger, with him and his fiancée, Sharelle Rosado, having their first child earlier this year. Not only is it Johnson’s eighth child, but it’s his fiancée’s fourth child.
10. Scottie Pippen – 8 Children
Scottie Pippen is a Hall of Fame small forward who played 17 seasons in the NBA – mostly with the Chicago Bulls and Trail Blazers. He’s a six-time champ and 10-time All-Defensive player who put up 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game.
Outside of basketball, Pippen is a father to eight children (with four women) – though two of his children, Antron and Tyler, have passed away. Tyler’s death happened just over a week after he was born back in 1994, while Antron’s death happened more recently in 2021 – it was tragic.
9. Mike Tyson – 8 Children
Mike Tyson is a retired American heavyweight boxer who finished his career with a 50-6-0 record (46 knockouts). He’s one of the most feared boxers of all-time and was undisputed heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. He has also enjoyed success as an actor.
Outside of his boxing career, Tyson is a father to eight children (with four women) and is happily married to Lakiha Spicer. One of his daughters is one of his ex’s from a previous relationship, but he considers her his own. Another one of his daughters tragically died at the age of four.
8. Vladimir Guerrero – 8 Children
Vladimir Guerrero is a Hall of Fame right fielder who played 16 seasons in the MLB – mostly with the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels. He’s a nine-time All-Star and one-time MVP who batted .318 with 449 home runs, 1,496 runs batted in, and 1,328 runs scored in his career.
Outside of baseball, Guerrero is a father to eight children (with five women). Three of his sons have hopes of following in their father’s footsteps and one of his sons already has. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is first baseman and third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays and he’s a stud.
7. Philip Rivers – 9 Children
Philip Rivers is a future Hall of Fame quarterback who played 17 seasons in the NFL – 16 of which with the San Diego Chargers (now Los Angeles Chargers). He’s an eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback and 2013 Comeback Player of the Year who threw for 63,440 yards and 421 TDs.
Outside of football, Rivers is a father to nine children (all with his wife Tiffany Rivers) – seven daughters and two sons. They’ve been married since 2001, but have been in love since high school and might not stop at nine children. I guess we’ll have to keep tabs on these two lovers.
6. Muhammad Ali – 9 Children
Muhammad Ali is a former American heavyweight boxers who finished his career with a 56-5-0 record (37 knockouts). He fought his first fight on October 29, 1960 and his final fight on December 11, 1981. He’s widely regarded as one of the most influential athletes of all-time.
Outside of boxing, Ali was a father to nine children (with five women) – seven daughters and two sons, just like Philip Rivers. One of his daughters, Laila Ali, followed in his footsteps and had a legendary boxing career of her own. She retired with a perfect 24-0-0 record (21 knockouts).
5. Willis McGahee – 10 Children
Willis McGahee is a retired running back who played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Ravens, Bills, Broncos, and Browns. He was a two-time Pro Bowl halfback and 2004 Comeback Player of the Year who finished his career with 9,813 yards from scrimmage and 70 touchdowns.
Outside of football, McGahee is a father to 10 children (with nine women). His reckless antics off the field have often gotten him in trouble and he hasn’t been the best example for his kids. In fact, there might even be more than 10 children – his last reported one was born back in 2014.
4. Evander Holyfield – 11 Children
Evander Holyfield, also known as The Real Deal, is a retired American heavyweight boxer who finished his career with a 44-10-2 record (29 knockouts). He fought his first fight on November 15, 1984 and his final fight on May 7, 2011. He was an undisputed champion in two classes.
Outside of his boxing career, Holyfield is a father to 11 children (with six women) – one of which, Evan Holyfield, has followed in his father’s footsteps and is pursuing a boxing career. He also has another son, Elijah Holyfield, who is currently a running back for the Cincinnati Bengals.
3. Travis Henry – 11 Children
Travis Henry is a retired running back who played seven seasons in the NFL with the Bills, Broncos, and Titans. He was drafted by Buffalo in the second round in 2001. He made the Pro Bowl in 2002 and rushed for 6,086 yards and 38 touchdowns in his career. He was explosive.
Outside of football, Henry is a father to 11 children (with 10 women) and has a history of struggling with child support payments. In fact, he has constantly complained of being broke due to child support. It’s the perfect example of what can go wrong when you’re irresponsible.
2. George Foreman – 12 Children
George Foreman is a retired heavyweight boxer who finished his career with a 76-5-0 record (68 knockouts). He fought his first fight on June 23, 1969 and his final fight on November 22, 1997 – a career that spanned four different decades. He also won an Olympic gold medal.
Outside of his boxing career, Foreman is a father to 12 children (with multiple women). He is most known for naming all five of his sons George – George II, George III, George IV, George V, and George VI. Two of his daughters, Isabella Brandie Lilja and Courtney Isaac, are adopted.
1. Antonio Cromartie – 14 Children
Antonio Cromartie is a retired defensive back who played 11 seasons in the NFL – mostly with the New York Jets and San Diego Chargers. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro cornerback who finished his career with 31 interceptions and five defensive touchdowns.
Outside of football, Cromartie is a father to 14 children (with eight women). He currently shares six of his children with his wife, Terricka Carson. As for his other eight children, Cromartie has paid as much as $300,000 per year in child support. That’s a lot of money to a lot of women.
Were You Aware of These Athletes With Big Families?
We’re all for athletes with big families, so long as the parents are present and the children are given a quality, happy, healthy, and rewarding environment to grow up in. The kids should always come first and should be at the heart of every decision the parents make in their life.
Other athletes with at least five kids are Dwight Howard, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Adrian Peterson, Karl Malone, Oscar De La Hoya, Marshall Faulk, Dominique Wilkins, Derrick Thomas, Warren Sapp, Calvin Murphy, Danny Ainge, and Janoris Jenkins.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 15 Kiddos Following in Their Athletic Parents’ Footsteps
We don’t care how many children athletes have – what we really want to know is whether or not those children are going to follow in their parents’ footsteps. It’s always interesting to see them grow up into a superstar – just look at Bronny James, Charlie Woods, and other athletic kids!
Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen Announce Divorce; Here Are 15 Other Star Athletes Who Went Through a Divorce
On October 28, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen announced their divorce after 13 years of marriage. The decision came after months of rumors that the couple weren’t seeing eye-to-eye – allegedly due to Brady returning to football after a one month retirement, instead of spending more time with his family.
Dating back to September, reports suggested the two weren’t living together as the disagreements continued. Bündchen was very vocal about his decision to play football this year, adding that she ‘would like him to be more present’ – she also cited the violent nature of the sport as reason for concern.
“Obviously, the good news is it’s a very amicable situation, and I’m really focused on two things: taking care of my family, and certainly my children, and secondly doing the best job I can to win football games. That’s what professionals do,” said Brady on his Let’s Go! Podcast with Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray.
Tom Brady Joins a Long List of Other Star Athletes to Get Divorced
Tom Brady is in the midst of a very unfortunate time in his life – though he wouldn’t label it as much. Even before the divorce rumors began to swirl, Brady has had a rollercoaster year that began when he retired from football after the 2021 season. He was retired for 40 days, announcing his unretirement in March.
Despite missing time during offseason workouts and his team suffering a slew of injuries before the campaign started, many people had the Buccaneers as one of the teams to beat this year. To make matters worse for Brady, his team is 3-5 to start the year and they don’t look like much of a threat at all.
His divorce could very well have something to do with his performance this year – he clearly isn’t the Tom Brady we’ve come to know. And while his age likely has something to do with it, you can’t help but wonder how the divorce has distracted him on a weekly basis. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this happen.
In fact, let’s take a look back at 15 other star athletes who went through a divorce at some point in their life – whether it be during their playing days or after they retired from sport.
15. Rick Fox
Rick Fox was married to singer-actress Vanessa Williams between 1999 and 2004. While they never had a child together, he did have one child from a previous relationship – his son was born in 1994. The two describe the split as amicable, which is believable considering they worked together several years later.
Fox spent 13 seasons in the NBA between 1991 and 2004. He averaged 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game (930 games played). He was a three-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers – he was mostly a starter during their historic three-peat between 1999 and 2002.
14. Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi was married to actress Brooke Shields between 1997 and 1999. Their marriage was short – something Shields blames on Agassi’s ‘moody behavior’ that felt ‘hateful at times.’ Two years after their divorce, Agassi married fellow tennis legend Steffi Graf. They have two children and are still married.
Agassi turned professional in 1986 and played through 2006. He retired with an 87-274 career singles record and 60 career singles titles – including eight Grand Slam titles. He was a four-time Australian Open winner, two-time US Open winner, and won the French Open and Wimbledon once each.
13. Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman has been divorced three times. His first came in 1992 to Annie Bakes, with whom he was married to for 82 days and share one child. He divorced Carmen Electra in 1999 after a short marriage. Lastly, he divorced Michelle Moyer in 2004 (officially in 2012) after years of trying to reconcile.
Rodman spent 14 seasons in the NBA between 1986 and 2000. He averaged 7.3 points, 13.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game (911 games played). He’s a two-time All-Star, five-time champion, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
12. Sugar Ray Leonard
Sugar Ray Leonard was married to his high school sweetheart, Juanita Wilkinson, between 1980 and 1990. They had two children together – one of which was six years old at the time of their marriage and the other being born four years after the marriage. Leonard abused Wilkinson and was a drug user.
Leonard is one of the greatest boxers of all-time. He enjoyed a legendary 20-year career between 1977 and 1987. He won world titles in five different weight classes, a lineal championship in three different weight classes, and was an undisputed champion in one weight class. He went 36-3-1 over his career.
11. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal was married to Shaunie Nelson between 2002 and 2009. They had four children together – Shareef, Shaqir, Amirah, and Me’arah. His eldest son, Shareef, is currently playing in the NBA G League. O’Neal also has a son and daughter from two previous relationships before his divorce.
O’Neal spent 19 years in the NBA. He averaged 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.6 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game (1,207 games played). He was a four-time champion, two-time scoring champ, one-time MVP, three-time Finals MVP, Rookie of the Year, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
10. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson went through two divorces in his life. The first came with actress Robin Givens, who he was married to for one year between 1988 and 1989 – she accused him of abuse. His second divorce came with Monica Turner, who he was married to between 1997 and 2003 – she accused him of adultery.
Tyson is one of the greatest and most impactful boxers of all-time. He was the undisputed heavyweight world champion between 1987 and 1990, retiring in 2005 with a 50-6-1 career record. He also won a Golden Gloves championship in 1984, as well as two gold medals at the National Junior Olympics.
9. Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen has been married and divorced twice in his life. He was married to Karen McCollum between 1988 and 1990 – sharing one child together during that time. He was also married to Larsa Pippen between 1997 and 2021 – sharing four children together during that time. He’s now single.
Pippen spent 17 seasons in the NBA between 1987 and 2004. He averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game (1,178 games played). He was a six-time champion with teammate Michael Jordan and seven-time All-Star who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
8. Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong was married to Kristin Richard between 1997 and 2003. During that time, they gave birth to three children via sperm Armstrong had banked several years prior – before he underwent chemotherapy and surgery for testicular cancer. He recently married Anna Hansen on August 9, 2022.
Armstrong is one of the most successful, yet controversial athletes of all-time. He won the Tour de France seven years straight between 1999 and 2005 – all of which came after his battle with cancer. He later faced doping allegations and had all of his titles stripped as a result, one of the biggest downfalls ever.
7. Michael Strahan
Michael Strahan has been married and divorced twice. His first marriage was with Wanda Hutchins between 1992 and 1996 – they share a son and daughter together. His second marriage was with Jean Muggli between 1999 and 2006 – they share twin daughters. He was also engaged to Nicole Mitchell.
Strahan spent 15 seasons in the NFL, all of which coming with the New York Giants. He retired with 854 tackles, 141.5 sacks, 24 forced fumbles, 15 fumble recoveries, 4 interceptions, and three defensive touchdowns. The Hall of Famer won a Super Bowl and was named Defensive Player of the Year.
6. Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon was married to Brooke Sealey between 1994 and 2003. They never had a child together and had quite a messy divorce – Brooke was eventually awarded more than $15 million. He later married Ingrid Vandebosch. They’ve been married since 2006, had a daughter in 2007, and a son in 2010.
Gordon is one of the greatest NASCAR/stock car racing drivers of all-time. Between 1992 and 2016, he had a total of 93 wins, 81 poles, and 477 top tens in 804 races in the NASCAR Cup Series. He also had five wins, 12 poles, and 32 top tens in 73 races between 1990 and 2000 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
5. Greg Norman
Greg Norman was married to Laura Andrassy between 1981 and 2006 – they had two children together and she was awarded more than $100 million in the settlement. Norman then married tennis legend Chris Evert in 2008, but the marriage only lasted 15 months. He has been married to Kristen Kutner ever since.
Norman is one of the greatest and most impactful golfers of all-time. He turned professional in 1976 and retired in 2009 with 88 professional wins to his name. He spent a total of 331 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world, the second most behind Tiger Woods. he won The Open Championship twice in his career.
4. Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade was married to his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches between 2002 and 2010. They had two children together, which Wade won sole custody of following the divorce. Wade then started dating Gabrielle Union in 2008 – they got married in 2014 and have had one child together, a daughter.
Wade spent 16 seasons in the NBA between 2003 and 2019. He averaged 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game (1,054 games played). He’s a three-time champion, eight-time All-NBA player, and one-time scoring champ who will hopefully be in the Hall of Fame one day.
3. Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez was married to Cynthia Scurtis between 2002 and 2010 – they had two children during this time, two daughters. There were rumors of cheating with Madonna, but they were squashed by both celebrities. He was most recently engaged to Jennifer Lopez, but they called the engagement off.
Rodriguez spent 22 years in the major leagues between 1994 and 2016. He retired with a .295 batting average, 3,115 hits, 548 doubles, 31 triples, 696 home runs, 2,086 RBIs, 2,021 runs scored, and 329 stolen bases. He was a three-time MVP, 2009 World Series champion, and 14-time All-Star.
2. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods was married to Elin Nordegren between 2004 and 2010. During that time, they had two children together – a daughter named Sam Alexis and a son named Charlie Axel. The couple divorced after a massive infidelity scandal against Woods, who reportedly cheated with several different women.
Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all-time. He turned professional in 1996 after playing college golf at Stanford University. He has 110 professional wins under his belt, including 15 major titles. He has won five Masters, four PGA Championships, three US Opens, and three The Open Championships so far.
1. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan was married to Juanita Vanoy between 1989 and 2006 – they originally filed for divorce in 2002, but reconciled shortly after. During their 17-year marriage, they had two sons and one daughter – Jeffrey, Marcus, and Jasmine. He later married Yvette Prieto in 2013 and had twin daughters in 2014.
Jordan spent 15 seasons in the NBA between 1984 and 2003. He averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.3 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game (1,072 games played). He was a six-time champion, five-time MVP, six-time Finals MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Hall of Fame inductee in 2009.
Where Does Tom Brady Go From Here?
Tom Brady is one of the greatest football players to ever step foot on a football field. He has more passing yards, completions, passing touchdowns, wins by a quarterback, and games started. He also has more Super Bowl championships than any franchise in the NFL – he has seven, six of which with the Patriots.
While his divorce is clearly weighing on the 45-year-old quarterback’s conscience, there’s reason to believe that he’ll figure things out on the football field eventually. He has done it before and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did it again. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean his team will go all the way again.
For now, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just need to take it one day at a time – both on and off the field. And that’s exactly what Brady seems to be doing. He said it himself on his podcast – his main goal right now is to be the best father he can be and the best quarterback he can be. Good luck, Tom!
- 0.1 These Athletes With Big Families Will Surprise You!
- 0.2 Were You Aware of These Athletes With Big Families?
- 1 Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen Announce Divorce; Here Are 15 Other Star Athletes Who Went Through a Divorce
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