Athletes have been having affairs since the time professional sports began. Players stay away from their wives and girlfriends for long durations and are often on the road playing games. They are rich, famous, and necessarily fit, which makes them attractive. It gives players such as those in the NFL ample opportunity to carry out clandestine affairs should they want to.
Now, the opportunity to do something wrong does not equate to excusing the behavior. With the recent example of Jay Cutler at the forefront, we take a look at five such NFL players who were caught having an affair.
NFL players whose affairs became known
#1 – Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler is alleged to have cheated on his ex-wife Kristin Cavallari. What makes this affair even worse is that, allegedly, he broke his close friend’s trust as well. The story goes that Jay Cutler and his friend’s family decided to take a trip together. Instead of being a good friend, he chose to sleep with his friend’s wife. The friend, naturally furious, apparently informed Kristin, who then expressed a desire to be left out of such matters.
During Jay Cutler’s divorce proceedings that began in 2020 and were finalized this year, one of the things his ex-wife mentioned was that there was “such inappropriate marital conduct as renders further cohabitation unsafe and improper.” The new allegations show the statement in a much more serious light.
#2 – Earl Thomas
Another player who has been in the news recently is former NFL Super Bowl winning safety Earl Thomas. He was arrested a month back for violating a court order and sending messages to a woman. But his problems with women did not originate this year. In fact, his alleged affair could have had more serious consequences.
The former Seattle Seahawks star was allegedly caught, alongside his brother, having an affair by his ex-wife Nina Thomas in 2020. At that time, he was playing with the Baltimore Ravens. She chased him with a loaded gun before the police finally intervened. She was first arrested, but her request for divorce was later granted. She even got a restraining order against Earl Thomas.
#3 – Steve McNair
Affairs captures the attention of the general public because raw emotions are at play. It involves love and betrayal in equal measure. In such an emotionally charged environment, things can often go wrong, as it did in the case of Steve McNair.
Steve McNair was the quarterback who was a former NFL MVP and was responsible for the Tennessee Titans’ sole appearance in the Super Bowl. He married Mechelle McNair in 1997, and outwardly, everything looked rosy. What was unknown was that Steve McNair was having an extra-marital affair with a lady by the name of Jenni Kazemi.
While the full extent and details are unknown, what is tragically known is that it led to his death at the age of 36. Kazemi and McNair rented a place in Nashville before she proceeded to murder McNair with a gun she had purchased a couple of days back. After murdering McNair, she then turned the gun on herself and committed suicide.
#4 – Tiki Barber
Former Pro Bowler New York Giants running back Tiki Barber’s affair is, in many ways, a story equally of heartbreak and a new beginning. Tiki Barber was drafted in 1997 and wed his University of Virginia sweetheart Virginia Cha in 1999. Everything pointed to a picture-perfect family. They have two sons and twin daughters from the marriage.
While Cha was pregnant with their twin daughters, Barber began an affair with a 23-year-old NBC intern, whom he had met while working on the Today Show. In April 2010, one month before their twin daughters were born, Cha and Barber began divorce proceedings. It was finalized in 2012, and Barber and new love Johnson waited just eight days before their own wedding.
#5 – Dan Marino
We leave the greatest player on this list for the last. On this list we have seen friendships broken, brushes with law, deaths, and cruel betrayals, but Dan Marino’s is the case of a man who has emerged from an affair with his family still intact. Marino married his wife Claire in 1985, and they have six children.
In 2013, it became public that not only had he had a relationship with another woman, he had fathered a yet-unknown child. It transpired that in 2005, he had illicit relations with CBS employee Donna Savattere, and they had a daughter named Chloe. He paid millions in support to his mistress and her daughter and kept it confidential for eight years.
However, what prevented his family life from falling apart completely because of this revelation was that his wife knew about this secret. Finding out from him and not from news sources likely saved the marriage from going downhill.