Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poor Life Decisions All Star: Travis Henry

Often you read about gifted athletes who squander their talents, and money by doing everything wrong. Former NFL running back Travis Henry's story is right up there with the best of them. Waiting for trial after his drug trafficking arrest, he tells his story

ATLANTA — Travis Henry was rattling off his children’s ages, which range from 3 to 11. He paused and took a breath before finishing.

This was no simple task. Henry, 30, a former N.F.L. running back who played for three teams from 2001 to 2007, has nine children — each by a different mother, some born as closely as a few months apart.


“I love all my kids,” he said in the interview, but asserted he could not afford the designated amounts, estimated at $170,000 a year by Randy Kessler, his Atlanta lawyer. Kessler said Henry was virtually broke.

“I’ve lost everything in this mess I’ve gotten myself into,” Henry said.


“I did use protection at first,” he said. “Then they’d be saying they’d be on the pill. I was an idiot to trust them. Second or third time with them, I didn’t use it. Then, boom!”

In four instances, he attested, “I was trapped.” If not for his football cachet and accompanying wealth, “I guarantee you that wouldn’t have happened.”

“My counselor asks me, ‘How can you do the same thing over and over?’ ” he said, unable to provide an answer.


Henry is seeking to modify child-support obligations. Some mothers and their lawyers will have none of that, saying he has squandered a small fortune on luxuries like cars and jewelry.

Unbelievable. I was puzzled when Buffalo gave up on him. He was a top five back in the league. Then you started hearing about the kids and the failed drug tests. Then Tennessee inexplicably cut him after a good season. Then Denver let him go after a great season. Now we know. The guy is a first class fuck-up.

Hat tip: Mike Florio at PFT. Who adds in an update: According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines’ program, Henry recently became the father of twin girls, upping his total to 11 children with 10 different women.


  1. This seems to be a timeless story. In fact they should start posting stories about former pro athletes, that do not crash and burn. The US media turns a blind eye to bad behaviour, and builds up a false image of pro athletes. I am sick of the media worshiping pro athletes.

  2. Yeah, they should get out of the business of trying to make role models.

    Part of the reason nobody knew was that teams covered it up. I remember nobody could understand why he was replaced in Buffalo. It didn't make sense.

    That said, a story like this I find very intersting. Not quite on the same level as Tyson blowing a quarter billion, but still.