Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive tackle Devon Still has responded to allegations that he has paid no child support for his daughter Leah, who is battling cancer. Still says the allegations are completely untrue, reports ESPN.
On Wednesday, Still publicly addressed allegations made by Leah’s mother that he had not paid child support in months. Still said the allegations were false and that he would continue to let the court system deal with the situation.
“My daughter’s battle with cancer has been inspirational to many all over the world. When she gets older, I want her to be able to look back and read about her positive impact on the world, not about the private issues her parents were going through. I am not going to retaliate against the mother of my daughter, and the untruthful reports in the New York Daily News article, by criticizing her character. I am going to continue to allow the court system to handle this matter, as it has been doing these past couple of months.”
Still has dealt with worldwide attention as his daughter fights a courageous battle against Stage 4 pediatric cancer.
“We’re going to continue to support him. We’re very confident in the things he’s done,” the Bengals said in a statement.
“Devon has grown up so much through this unfortunate illness that his daughter’s dealing with. It’s really grown him as a man and as a person. I told him that just today how he’s handled everything. I’m so impressed.”
“He’s really a beacon for a lot of people. He will be for a lot of young guys as they face different trials and tribulations as an NFL player. There are the outside pressures that no one understands that guys go through. There’s the pressure of playing, the pressure of performing. All those things that occur, and this one is really outside of football,” Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.
According to NBC Sports, Still was seen writing the public statement in the Bengals’ locker room on Wednesday. He looked to his veteran teammates for advice.
The Daily News reported that Still’s ex-girlfriend stated that she was not able to work because of her daughter’s treatments and her care, which required full-time attention. She added that if it had not been for a close friend of her mother’s, she and Leah would have ended up homeless. She also claims she was forced to go on food stamps from July to October to feed herself and Leah.
A combination of injuries and his mind being preoccupied caused Still to initially being cut from the Bengals roster on August 31. However, a day later he was re-signed and added back to the practice squad so he would be able to pay child support and cover Leah’s medical expenses with the NFL’s health insurance. He was promoted off the practice squad and active roster one week later.
The team has fully supported Still and his daughter. The Bengals helped to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and raised nearly $1.3 million this year as part of a donation that is related to the sale of Still’s No. 75 jersey.