Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still has responded to a report that he wasn’t paying child support for his daughter Leah, but said he didn’t want to get into the details of the case.
The report in this morning’s New York Daily News said that Still hasn’t paid any child support since August 2014, while Leah has become a national storyline during her battle with cancer.
“My daughter’s battle with cancer has been inspirational to many all over the world,” Still said in a statement released by the team, via Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. “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.”
The Bengals are circling the wagons around Still, after more than $1.3 million was raised through sales of his jersey to benefit children’s cancer research.
Coach Marvin Lewis said he met with Still Wednesday morning, and remains “very confident” in his defensive tackle.
“We’re not privy to all the facts of it,” Lewis said. “But Devon is very confident that he’s taking care of business the right way and eventually, at some point, if there’s things that need to be done through the legality through the courts, that all would come out that way. We’re going to continue to support him. We’re very confident in the things he’s done. . . .
“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.”
The hope is that the legal fight doesn’t take away from Leah’s continuing battle, and that the adults in this situation resolve things with her welfare in mind.