Atlanta native and former NFL star Jamal Lewis was arrested earlier this month for child abandonment, but he says that he has always cared for his children. He released a statement that disputes his arrest and says that the whole situation is a misunderstanding. Clayton County officials are saying that Lewis was arrested for failing to pay his child support.

It is not entirely clear how much the former football player owes in child support arrears, but his arrest warrant also claims that he has had no contact with his son for over a year. In his statement, Lewis says that “[he has] made mistakes in [his] life, but failing to care for [his] children is not one of them.” His statement also indicates that he wants to co-parent his son.

Lewis is far from the only professional sports figure to face legal issues for missed child support. Regardless of his status, it is important that he pays the mother of his child the support due to her. Child support is extremely important for Georgia parents and provides a substantial factor in caring for a child. Without support, custodial parents have substantially less money to use for the care, feeding and schooling of a child.

Lewis is a former running back with various teams in the NFL, but he retired in 2009. It appears that he has had some financial difficulties since his retirement, filing for bankruptcy only four months ago. His filings indicated he had $10.6 million in debts and approximately $14.5 million in assets.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Former NFL star: Arrest a misunderstanding,” Alexis Stevens, Aug. 2, 2012