OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Georgia Republican Senate nominee Hershel Walker can take the political heat, but he can’t take opponents attacking his children.
On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that Walker fathered a son 10 years ago and was ordered by a court to provide child support.
Then on Thursday, the same outlet also reported that Walker had another son who was not widely known. For his part, Walker denied that allegation.
“I have four children. Three sons and a daughter. They’re not ‘undisclosed’ — they’re my kids,” Walker told The Daily Wire.
“I support them all and love them all,” he added. “I’ve never denied my children, I confirmed this when I was appointed to the President’s Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition, I just chose not to use them as props to win a political campaign.
“What parent would want their child involved in garbage, gutter politics like this?” the former NFL great and Heisman Trophy winner added.
The outlet added:
Walker served on the Fitness Council under presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden. In March 2022, Biden asked Walker to resign. The candidate said at the time that Biden was simply trying to throw him “off track” during his GOP Senate primary campaign.
The former University of Georgia football star has long spoken out against absent dads, especially in the black community.
“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 your child,” Walker said in 2020, according to CNBC, which adds:
Campaign manager Scott Paradise confirmed Walker’s parentage on Tuesday in response to an article in The Daily Beast that said Walker has a “secret son” he isn’t actively involved in raising. Walker has publicly condemned absentee fathers and has touted his own close relationship with his adult son Christian in campaign speeches. “If you got a child, hug your child every day,” Walker said in a 2017 speech.
The second child’s mother took Walker to court a year after giving birth to obtain child support and a declaration of paternity, according to The Daily Beast, which cites public posts and a court document in its report. The publication withheld the name of the 10-year-old child and his mother due to privacy concerns.
The final child support order in that case reportedly came in August 2014, when the boy, who has taken Walker’s last name, was more than 2 years old.
His campaign manager, Doug Paradise, pushed back on the Daily Beast claim that Walker was hiding his kids, however.
“Herschel had a child years ago when he wasn’t married. He’s supported the child and continues to do so,” Paradise said on Tuesday, according to CNBC.
“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.”
The financial news outlet went on to note that Paradise mentioned that Walker’s Democratic opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, has his own familial issues. He is currently involved in a custody battle and has worked to seal that case from the public.
Paradise noted that media coverage of Warnock’s situation has been “a complete double standard,” meaning, the ‘mainstream’ media has not focused on it much at all and hasn’t cast him in a critical manner.
“He’s dodged voters by sealing the case and even has tried to dodge authorities,” Paradise said of Warnock, according to CNBC.
Walker, meanwhile, said to leave his kids out of things.
“Saying I hide my children because I don’t discuss them with reporters to win a campaign? That’s outrageous,” Walker added in his statement. “I can take the heat, that’s politics — but leave my kids alone.”
Former President Donald Trump has thrown his support behind Walker. The two met when Trump signed him as a running back to the first incarnation of the New Jersey Generals, a team with the United States Football League. He went on to play in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Giants.