In the weeks since the Los Angeles Lakers emerged victorious as NBA Champions, there has been a lot of discussion around one the team’s players Dwight Howard.
First, there were accusations from Royce Reed, Howard’s ex and mother of his child. She claimed that despite being in the same city as his children, Howard has made no effort to be a part of his son Braylon’s life.
On Instagram, Reed wrote:
“…imagine having to text a 3rd party to try and find out if this person plans on seeing their 2 kids that live here and that they haven’t seen since July or SPOKEN to since August before they leave the city and the response is “I don’t know, I gotta see what the team doin”. A multimillionaire who can catch any flight with a choice to spend a couple hours with children who want to think he’s their own personal Superman. A child who REALLY NEEDS HIM RIGHT NOW! But… I hold this little boy at night through tears and anger. I comfort him. I raise him with love not through money. So anyone who has an issue with that FUCK YALL! Straight up! Braylon will always cause my lioness to come out! PERIOD! #mytherapistisgonnakillme.”
Then, earlier this week, another mother of Howard’s children came forward with accusations of him being an absentee parent.
She wrote, “Imagine watching the love of your life or someone you care/cared about become a terrible parent, ignore their child’s emotional needs for the sake of ego and pride and literally leave their other child to be taken care of by a babysitter for, say 2 months. Imagine they ignore their children and neglect speaking to them. Would you root for them if they won anything? Would you support that person publicly?”
Today, Howard’s own son, his eldest, 12-year-old Braylon corroborated the claims from his mother and another mother of Howard’s children—reportedly there are five.
Responding to the post from the other woman, Braylon wrote on Instagram, “From my brother mom. My dad ain’t a real dad. He don’t even talk to me and he know I’m sad and need him. I’m almost 13 so I can talk now.”
There has been a lot of commentary about what should be kept off of social media and thoughts about whether or not these women are bitter. But not enough people are placing the blame where it belongs on Howard himself.
When Dwight Howard first entered the league, there was a huge emphasis on him being a Christian. He sought to be an example. But right now, he’s only following a toxic, dysfunctional pattern of Black men missing from their children’s lives.