A.J. Green won’t play if his baby is born on game day

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Bengals receiver A.J. Green’s wife is pregnant, with a due date of September 30. If she goes into labor on a game day, Green will be in the hospital, not on the field.

I can’t play,” Green said, via Cincinnati.com. “First one, definitely. I want to be there.”

Green said he’s hoping his baby doesn’t arrive on a game day, but only time will tell.

“Just not a game day,” he said. “Anything before a game day would be ideal.”

Green missed yesterday’s practice for a doctor’s appointment and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told him he should. In fact, Green said he didn’t even have to ask, as Lewis just told Green to go as soon as Green told him about the appointment.

Some Bengals fans may not be so eager to see a player as important as Green make that choice on a game day during the season, but Green has already made his choice.

81 responses to “A.J. Green won’t play if his baby is born on game day

  1. Hard to believe this grounded, responsible young man shares the field with head hunters and ref-pushers.

  2. what is he …a doctor? let the dr’s and nurses do the job they have trained for…you do the job you have trained for…besides your work…wink …wink was done 9 months ago.

  3. While it’s definitely one of the oddest experiences for a man, you shouldn’t miss it for a reg season game.

  4. Hmm, when you get paid copious amounts of money to play 16 games a year, I feel like you should show up . I wonder if he gets his game cheque still? Probably unpopular opinion , but I understand both sides of this arguement. Also , I’m not a parent .

  5. Football’s just a game. Anyone that has a problem with Green is too young to have children, physically or mentally, that’s why they don’t understand.

  6. jxt2521 says:
    Aug 26, 2016 11:24 AM
    While it’s definitely one of the oddest experiences for a man, you shouldn’t miss it for a reg season game.

    ————-

    A real man wouldn’t miss the birth of his child for any reason of he could help it……certainly not for a football game. Kudos AJ.

  7. I can’t believe some of the negative comments.

    How in the world did we get here as a society where participation in a game should trump the birth of your child?

    SMH.

  8. I disagree with him totally. He has an obligation to be at the game and play. The only way he should be at the hospital is if they tell him there could be complications.
    These guys are paid a ton of money to contribute to their teams. There are only 16 games in the regular season to do that. He is an integral part of the Bengals team and he should be there for that game unless there is an emergency requiring him to be at the hospital.
    Think about it. Some of these NFL players have as many as 9 kids with 9 different women. If all of them wanted to be there when their kids were born, they’d never play in a game.
    If I sound insensitive toward Green and his wife, sorry. But this much I know. There are soldiers in the Middle East fighting for our freedoms so guys like Green can make their millions playing a kid’s game. And they often miss the birth of their children. So — if they can do that, Green can, too.

  9. The only people that have an an issue with this are die-hard “fans” who obviously have no life outside of watching football.

  10. smokingthebowels says:
    Aug 26, 2016 11:19 AM
    Plenty more game days to make, not so many “birth” days…unless your cromartie
    _____________

    Yeah right. Like Cromartie ever made it to a “birth” day. Or a birthday for that matter.

  11. mrnick66 says:
    Aug 26, 2016 11:21 AM

    what is he …a doctor? let the dr’s and nurses do the job they have trained for…you do the job you have trained for…besides your work…wink …wink was done 9 months ago
    ——

    I was present when my boys were born. When my daughter was born (our 3rd child), I barely made it to the hospital, they told me to get in the room right away, don’t bother to change because there wasn’t enough time.

    When my daughter’s head started to crown, my wife’s doctor asked me “would you like to deliver the baby?” and my wife responded (for me) YES before I even had a chance to think. So I washed up and the doctor told me what to do every step of the way. It was an amazing experience.

    I have often wished I had that opportunity when my sons were born.

  12. My son being born was one of the most exciting, greatest days of my life. With my wife in labor for 30 hours, she definitely needed me there. I am a huge NFL fan and would call myself a company man as far as my employer. That being said – you are making the right choice AJ. You will be glad you did….

  13. Hilarious that random strangers are telling a guy that he should play football instead of being there for the birth of his kid.

    Hopefully there will be random people shaming you for missing work the day your kid is born.

  14. If anyone else was wondering, because the article left it out, the Bengals play a home game against the Dolphins on Thursday night, September 29th.

  15. Sorry A.J. but sacrifices are to be made in all aspects of life. You get paid a ton of money under contract to fulfill an obligation. You wouldn’t be the first man to miss his kids being born due to a contract obligation. I got lucky and my kid came out before I had to deploy, if he hadn’t…oh well, board that plane. I was ready to accept that as no one forced me to have a kid and my duty to my country was established before my decision to become a parent. Unpopular opinion, I know, and I hope he gets lucky and it doesn’t download on game day, but if it does… such is life.

  16. @orangecrush78 says:
    Aug 26, 2016 11:27 AM

    Hmm, when you get paid copious amounts of money to play 16 games a year, I feel like you should show up . I wonder if he gets his game cheque still? Probably unpopular opinion , but I understand both sides of this arguement. Also , I’m not a parent .
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Hmm, nope. You understand one side of the argument not both. Otherwise you wouldn’t bring up the check.

  17. Why do people in the comments section directly address athletes and celebrities like they’re actually carrying on a conversation with them, or know them personally?

  18. “I wouldn’t either unless it was either a game to get into the playoffs, playoff game, or SB.”

    ————

    Do you even watch football? Every game is a game to get into the playoffs.

    That being said, he’s right to miss one. And he’s scoring so many points with his lady by saying it in the media. His kid’s gonna come mid-week and he’s gonna have all those points from being publicly willing to skip the game.

    Baller!

  19. well, first ones tend to come late and the Bengals play Miami on the 29th and then have 9 days until the next game so that could work out well.

  20. I respect Green’s decision.
    Especially if he declines his game check for that week.
    Every player should have the right to skip a game to be there for the birth of a child. I don’t think they should have the right to be paid for it.

  21. As he shouldnt and I would hope everyone here in Cincinnati wouldn’t want him to. No one would should have a problem with him missing family first always.

  22. I have three kids and I wouldn’t have missed their births for the world. I also have a job that allows me to miss work without having a big impact on what everyone else is doing that day. I absolutely believe Green should be there for the birth, but he should at least acknowledge that it’s a big deal for him to miss one of 16 games because he’s one of the best players on the team. His absence could easily mean the difference between a win and a loss and could mean the difference between making the playoffs and missing the playoffs. How about donating the game check to a children’s charity or something?

  23. Incognegro says:
    Aug 26, 2016 12:09 PM

    Sorry A.J. but sacrifices are to be made in all aspects of life. You get paid a ton of money under contract to fulfill an obligation. You wouldn’t be the first man to miss his kids being born due to a contract obligation. I got lucky and my kid came out before I had to deploy, if he hadn’t…oh well, board that plane. I was ready to accept that as no one forced me to have a kid and my duty to my country was established before my decision to become a parent. Unpopular opinion, I know, and I hope he gets lucky and it doesn’t download on game day, but if it does… such is life
    ———–

    download?????

    On the other hand, I do appreciate your service.

  24. What difference does it really make. Even if the Bengals make the playoffs the red-headed QB will choke again once the postseason starts….

  25. Um, he needs to read the materials. They can deliver a baby whenever you want if it’s ready to go. It’s a mute point.

  26. “Hard to believe this grounded, responsible young man shares the field with head hunters and ref-pushers.”
    —————————–

    He doesn’t have a choice about playing the Steelers twice a year.

  27. frorangecrush78 says:
    Aug 26, 2016 11:27 AM
    Hmm, when you get paid copious amounts of money to play 16 games a year, I feel like you should show up . I wonder if he gets his game cheque still? Probably unpopular opinion , but I understand both sides of this arguement. Also , I’m not a parent .

    ———————————————————

    Last sentence of your post says it all. There’s no joy or experience like seeing your baby born in front of your eyes.

  28. Player status matters. If it was a fringe player, the consequences for missing a game would be much more severe.

  29. Well, they are playing the Dolphins on Sept. 29, so it’s not like the Bengals will necessarily need him.

  30. If you do the math, some players could miss two or three games a year attending the births of their own children.

    I’m more interested in how children are nurtured over the course of their upbringing. AJ should dedicate himself to the responsibilities he signed up for, which includes being available for game one.

  31. smokingthebowels says:
    Aug 26, 2016 11:19 AM

    Plenty more game days to make, not so many “birth” days…unless your cromartie

    Oh man if all of his kids birthday’s had fallen on game days? He may have missed almost half the games in his career.

  32. The hypocrisy here is absolutely astonishing. There should be absolutely no negative comments about this at all. Football is a game and in this case an occupation. This is a life decision that he is making. As far as the hypocrisy is concerned, every time an athlete compares themselves to a soldier in battle they are demonized (rightfully so in my opinion). Now, some on here are comparing them to soldiers deployed…which is it?

  33. Incognegro says:
    Aug 26, 2016 12:09 PM
    Sorry A.J. but sacrifices are to be made in all aspects of life. You get paid a ton of money under contract to fulfill an obligation. You wouldn’t be the first man to miss his kids being born due to a contract obligation. I got lucky and my kid came out before I had to deploy, if he hadn’t…oh well, board that plane. I was ready to accept that as no one forced me to have a kid and my duty to my country was established before my decision to become a parent. Unpopular opinion, I know, and I hope he gets lucky and it doesn’t download on game day, but if it does… such is life.

    ______________________

    Have to disagree with you, as a fellow service member myself. My daughter was expected to be delivered while I was on deployment, and my commander at the time granted me paternity leave for 10 days a few days before my wife scheduled due date.

  34. I’ve never understood the necessity of being there right when the baby is born. Sure, after the game is over head right to the hospital and be with the family. But the baby won’t remember if you were there right when he came out. Lots of folks miss the baby being born just due to traffic or a really fast delivery.

  35. What? Someone on the Bengals doing the right thing? What’s the world coming to?

    Unless it’s the playoffs go be with wife and baby. Nothing like watching the birth of your kids!

  36. Family planning is a real thing to the educated. If you are an NFL player and attending the birth of your first child is important to you, then plan your schedule around a timeframe that doesn’t include missing one of 16 regular season games. People of all walks of life do it everyday.

  37. Fatherhood is a gift and a privilege. An athlete should never be criticized one way or another on this. It should be 100% his decision and he should receive 100% of the support from the organization and especially the fans.

  38. The Bengals have really turned it around in the past 13 years. Almost a shame that soon no one will even remember who the Bungals of 90s were.

  39. How many guys went to the delivery room before the 90s????? NONE! Peer pressure sucked them all in. I wouldn’t watch that mess for all the money in the world. Go to work!!!!!!

  40. logicalvoicepft says:
    Aug 26, 2016 3:27 PM

    IF YOU KNOW YOUR JOB IS TO PLAY IN THE FALL WHY NOT PLAN TO HAVE YOUR KID MARCH-JUNE?!
    __________________________________
    This just in….not all pregnancies are planned

  41. loumann says:
    Aug 26, 2016 3:46 PM

    How many guys went to the delivery room before the 90s????? NONE! Peer pressure sucked them all in. I wouldn’t watch that mess for all the money in the world. Go to work!!!!!!
    ——-

    two of my children were born in the 80s, my 3rd child was born in 1990.

  42. I missed work when my kids were born. At least they planned the baby for September, not super bowl Sunday.

  43. nyneal says:
    Aug 26, 2016 11:42 AM
    I disagree with him totally. He has an obligation to be at the game and play. The only way he should be at the hospital is if they tell him there could be complications.
    These guys are paid a ton of money to contribute to their teams. There are only 16 games in the regular season to do that. He is an integral part of the Bengals team and he should be there for that game unless there is an emergency requiring him to be at the hospital.
    Think about it. Some of these NFL players have as many as 9 kids with 9 different women. If all of them wanted to be there when their kids were born, they’d never play in a game.
    If I sound insensitive toward Green and his wife, sorry. But this much I know. There are soldiers in the Middle East fighting for our freedoms so guys like Green can make their millions playing a kid’s game. And they often miss the birth of their children. So — if they can do that, Green can, too.
    ____________________________________

    1. His obligation to the team is not even close to the obligation he has to his wife and child.

    2. It’s true, there are only 16 games in the regular season. And 4 in the preseason. And for Green, there’s been 4 postseason games. A child is only born once.

    3. He is an integral part of the team, but he is the foundation of his family.

    4. Some players do have many different children with many different women. That’s their business, and it’s not for us to decide what’s right or wrong in their lives. If the team has a problem with it, they can cut the player. If you have a problem with it, you can stop watching the player.

    5. I WAS a Soldier that fought in the middle east. Three separate times. That’s why I know that anyone who has the ability to be there when their child is born should be there. It’s petty to say that others should not out of spite. I made sacrifices in my family life so A.J. Green, you, and countless others wouldn’t have to make the same ones. So, he shouldn’t sacrifice seeing his child born.

    6. Yes, Green gets paid millions. If his boss is okay with paying him millions and giving him a game off, then why aren’t you? And when it comes time for A.J. to re-up, he will remember that the boss gave him the day off.

    I love the Bengals. And I love football, as I am sure you do. But, as you pointed out, it’s a kid’s game. There’s no way it’s more important than one’s family. Even if that person is the best WR in the game. The Bengals and the NFL will march on long after A.J. Green is gone, but he will always be a father to his child and a husband to his wife.

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