Gold medal winning gymnast Gabby Douglas let loose on her father, Staff Sgt. Timothy Douglas, slamming him as a ‘deadbeat dad’ after he left her mother with a mountain of bills. Douglas, who failed in her final bid to win another medal after falling off the balance beam, said her father, who served in the Air National Guard in Afghanistan, abandoned her and her three older siblings years ago and rarely paid child support. He enlisted in the military and left her mother, Natalie Hawkins, struggling to provide for Gabby, who was nine at the time, and her siblings, often getting her so down, she considered quitting her Olympics aspirations. It seems pretty clear that Gabby Douglas could be harboring some resentment for her dad, who is in London for the Olympics but did not see her compete because she did not get him or her grandparents tickets, MailOnline reports. Well, that’s if she deliberately decided not to get him tickets. If it was beyond her control, then that’s not on her.
“It was really hard for us growing up — my dad had left us, so he wasn’t really in the picture anymore,” Douglas, 16, said yesterday.
“So my mom had to front all these bills. My dad didn’t really pay the child support. He was short [on money]. It was definitely hard on her part, and she had to take care of me and the rest of my siblings.’’ Source
Gabby Douglas said even after winning two gold medals she still hadn’t spoken to her father. Timothy Douglas reminds me a lot of Shaquille O’Neal’s father, who was largely absent until he was drafted in the NBA and then he showed up. So, while the media tries to start a fire over Natalie Hawkins filing for bankruptcy, she didn’t walk away from her obligations, but fought the good fight. She didn’t opt for a fresh start. She opted for a payment plan to pay back her creditors over time on an amount.
I certainly hate when people air their dirty laundry in public, but some good may come out of Gabby Douglas’ candor. Not to bash Sgt. Timothy Douglas, but I would hope he will try to find a way to mend fences with his children. Life is too short and too precious for one to wear the deadbeat dad label proudly. He should be ashamed of himself for shirking his responsibilities as a parent, only showing up to take the victory lap after Natalie Hawkins scrapped to get by. We have many more deadbeat dads roaming around, of all races. I wonder what the Air Force has to say about Staff Sgt. Timothy Douglas’ deadbeat dad label?