Former NFL running back and current GOP Senate Candidate from Georgia Herschel Walker claimed in a 2019 interview that his greatest accomplishment is being a good father. Interestingly, he was petitioned by the courts for a paternity test and to pay financial support for his estranged child, the Insider reports.
According to the petition, Walker and the unidentified mother of his child were in a relationship between 2008 and 2011. Eventually, the couple separated eight months before the birth of the child.
"The child's mother is a graduate student at Columbia University struggling to make ends meet. Unfortunately, Mr. Walker has thus far decided not to take full financial responsibility for the care of his alleged son," read the 2013 petition by Andres Alonso, a partner with the law firm Alonso Krangle. "We hope that with the filing of the petition Mr. Walker will finally acknowledge the true extent of his support obligations."
A year later, Walker was ordered to pay child support for his son who was by then more than 2 years old.
Although he regularly has made appearances with and spoken publicly about his older son, 22-year-old internet personality Christian, he has not mentioned his other child during the campaign—fueling rumors that he is an absentee father after repeatedly criticizing Black fathers on public forums.
"I want to apologize to the African-American community," Walker said in a 2020 interview, "because the fatherless home is a major, major problem."
Scott Paradise, Walker’s campaign manager, addressed Walker’s second son in a statement.
“Herschel had a child years ago when he wasn’t married. He’s supported the child and continues to do so,” Paradise said. “He’s proud of his children. To suggest that Herschel is ‘hiding’ the child because he hasn’t used him in his political campaign is offensive and absurd.”
In an interview with conservative social media stars Diamond and Silk, Walker “compared a Black father leaving his family to separations during slavery.”
“The father leaves in the Black family. He leaves the boys alone so they’ll be raised by their mom,” he said in a 2021 interview. “If you have a child with a woman, even if you have to leave that woman— even if you have to leave that woman—you don’t leave that child.”
The Daily Beast reported that although Walker provides holiday and birthday presents to his second son, he is not active in the child’s life, nor has the child spoken with his half-brother.
In a new poll conducted this week by East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research, Walker and Senator Raphael Warnock are in a virtual tie with less than five months before the midterm election.