Jordan's Rants
5/9/12: Owens On Dr. Phil Analysis
"He took me to court, and he wasted child support money, his money, on lawyers."

This is a real quote from "Monique," one of the mothers of Terrell Owens's kids, from her appearance on Dr. Phil yesterday. The subtext of this statement?

"How dare you spend my money on lawyers to get the amount of money you're paying me lowered."

You see, according to her, Owens has no right to spend his own money. While she acknowledged she has received over $1 million from Owens already, Owens is apparently in the wrong for opting to use his money on attorneys to try to lower the outrageous child support payments he's required to make. Instead, she and the others insist, he should have come to them and just asked.

Never mind the fact that they repeatedly took him to court when he told them he couldn't afford to pay the full amount anymore. That's the reason we're here in the first place. They can express their disgust with what they claim is a lack of involvement from him as a father, but the fact is, we wouldn't be here if not for the highly publicized courtroom bouts over the past several months over late/partial/non payments.

And yet, very quietly, it was noted two of the three mothers who appeared on the show have already collected over $1 million from him. Apparently, though, that's not enough to earn Owens leeway when it comes to his current payments. He's still a "deadbeat dad," they say. Every last dime he has left needs to be sent to the mothers...err...his children.

This same obnoxious subtext was later parroted by the attorney of one of the other mothers. Owens is "wasting money" that could...err...should be theirs.

But, that's the way child support works in this country. If one parent is granted custody, the child's lifestyle is supposed to reflect something resembling what it would be if the parents were living together. Owens made millions, while the children's mothers made pretty much nothing. Therefore, he has to fork over millions to create that type of "environment." The mothers are never required to earn a dime.

Given the facts of this particular case, it's not particularly surprising the mothers wanted to steer the conversation away from the child support issues that are really at the heart of the matter. They wanted to self-righteously chide Owens for not being involved enough in his kids' lives.

All the perfectly valid and powerful points Owens made in response will, no doubt, be overlooked, as the media is now in the process of retroactively attempting to justify their portrayal of him over all those years with this latest red herring. " See , he is a bad guy, he's not paying his child support and he's an absent father. Condemn this athlete. Yes, this one specifically, not all the others."

Plus, they get to keep drawing money from his name. He's a proven commodity for them.

And now comes the predictable barrage of sanctimonious criticisms about Owens's parenting. He's not involved nearly enough, people will say, after the mothers cited his lack of visits and participation in birthday parties and holidays. Everyone has an opinion, whether they really know what they're talking about or not.

The reality is, Owens's performance as a father merely depends on who you ask. Owens himself has stated he would like to see his kids more often, but remarked that the mothers frequently cite "inconvenience" when he calls to try to set up visits. The mothers did not deny this, instead throwing them into the "excuses" classification. Remember, if you like and accept an explanation, it's a "reason." If you don't like or accept it, it's an "excuse."

The fact of the matter is, it's difficult for a father with Owens's profession to spend a lot of time with his kids. He was on the road for half the year when he played in the NFL, and, with his kids' parents living in different cities, it made it tough to see all of them when he did have time off. The mothers frequently citing schedule conflicts only adds to the difficulty.

Of course, the other issue people will take with Owens is the fact that he has four kids with four different women. "His fault for this predicament," they will say. Sure. But that doesn't have anything to do with actually addressing the problem at hand. The fact is, he has four kids, and this will require some effort on everyone's part to improve the situation.

The other fact is, there is no reason he should be required to pay outrageous sums of money that are almost entirely being used by the mothers to support themselves. These mothers are just as responsible for what happened as Owens is. Yet they're the main ones being provided for by a man who doesn't even live with them.

In each separate instance, Owens should be responsible for providing half the financial support for one person. Instead, he is providing 100% financial support for two.

Apart from the obvious misrepresentation of their core concern (child support payments), there were numerous occasions in which the various mothers revealed hypocrisy, hidden agendas, and general contradictions.

One of the most egregious was when Kimber, the mother of one of Owens's daughters, made a comment about how, if it were up to her, she would not have allowed Owens to see his daughter when he had called to ask if he could drop by. She says she merely did it for her daughter. This came after minutes of condemning Owens for not spending more time with his daughter. In other words, she doesn't really want to let him visit, and yet, she hesitantly agrees every now and then...but in the same breath, she's livid with Owens for not visiting more often.

You can't have it both ways.

In Kimber's introduction story, she said she could no longer do what she did in the past for a living after her pregnancy. She says she would have been on the street if she hadn't taken Owens to court for child support payments. The subtext in this is, of course, if she had wound up on the street, it would have been all Owens's fault. For a second, you might almost forget that it's her fault. She had consensual, unprotected sex and got pregnant. With a tone of contempt, she mentioned Owens demanding they do a paternity test, as if he had no right to make her prove that he's the father. Need I say more?

The show's "shock value" came from Kimber's mother, with impassioned accusations that Owens "disgusts" her as a father, before calling him, "evil." There should have been a disclaimer on that part that read, "consider the source."

With all due respect to this woman, she is not exactly what you can call an "unbiased source." This is the mother of the mother of one of Owens's children. The Outkast song, "Ms. Jackson," immediately popped into my mind when I saw this bit. What do you suppose Kimber, whose interaction with Owens on the show was noticeably tense, tells her mother about Owens in private? Do you think she's waxing poetic about what a nice guy he is?

We soon learn that the main form of interaction between Owens and Kimber's mother is the latter calling up Owens to curse at him. I'm fairly confident I got the general gist of what was going on here.

As far as hypocrisy is concerned, a statement from Monique, the mother of Owens's older son, is a perfect example. She mentioned there was an instance where Owens had contacted her, asking if he could have their son appear on his reality television show to join his two daughters. Then came the harsh accusation, "he's trying to exploit his kid." This would seem like a reasonable objection...until you realize that the woman saying this is saying it on a nationally televised daytime talk show. Pots and kettles and all of that.

Consider the sources, and consider the motives. That's the overarching theme here.

To conclude, let me just restate, once again, for the record: Owens did not make $80 million in his NFL career. An actual writer for a Philadelphia newspaper stated the money he earned (without taking out the portion of the signing bonus with the Eagles he was forced to pay back) totaled $66 million. This does not factor out taxes, the cut he paid his agents, and various other usual expenses that cut into the actual money one makes.

The fact that this fabricated $80 million figure continues to circulate every form of media in existence is quite telling. But nobody's listening.
Posted on May 09 2012 by Jordan Taber
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