Emmitt Smith is speaking out on the justice system and the way that it treats fathers. The former NFL player recently discussed his experience with the courts during an ‘Oprah’s Life Class’ taping in Dallas, Texas. Emmitt let lose when asked by Bishop Jakes to elaborate on his battle to establish a connection with Rheagen through the system.


“Like any situation, there’s always a little strife in the beginning,” said Smith. “And sometimes that strife lasts a little longer than you really want to. I think oftentimes, you feel like the system is not for [fathers]. It’s really against us. Because once we get into a courtroom, oftentimes we feel like we have the responsibility and the capabilities of taking care of a young woman.”

Emmitt went on to talk about his efforts to establish a working relationship with his daughter after being granted co-parenting rights by the courts, telling Bishop Jakes that it was a challenge at first. “[There] was something that I learned through life and through sports — perseverance. If you want something bad enough you’ve got to really fight for it and you should never quit on it. I knew that this was my daughter and I wanted to be in her life and I was going to be in her life. I was determined to be in her life.”

Rheagen is Emmitt’s daughter with ex-girlfriend Hope Wilson. The former NFL player also has two kids, Emmitt IV and Skylar, with wife Patricia Southall. Patricia has a daughter named Jasmine from her previous relationship to comedian Martin Lawrence.

Hot Topic: Do you agree with what Emmitt has to say about the ‘system being against fathers?’

Video:How NFL Legend Emmitt Smith Fought for His Daughter – Oprah’s Life Class



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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