NBA legend Amar’e Stoudemire is facing misdemeanor battery charges after he was accused of striking one of his teenage daughters. According to ESPN, Stoudemire was arrested Sunday in Miami-Dade County and released on a $1,500 bond that came with a no-contact order.
Here’s what allegedly happened as reported by ESPN:
According to a copy of the police report obtained by The Miami Herald, Stoudemire allegedly struck one of his two teenage daughters during an argument at his Miami home Saturday night. The report did not identify which of Stoudemire’s two daughters, ages 17 and 14, was hit.
Stoudemire allegedly confronted the girl and accused her of being disrespectful to his mother during a phone call, according to the police report. When she denied it, he told her, “You’re talking back again,” and punched her in the jaw, leaving her bleeding, the report says.
The girl contacted her mother, Stoudemire’s ex-wife, who came to the home, picked up the two girls and their two brothers, and contacted police.
According to the police report, Stoudemire didn’t describe the alleged attack as a punch to the jaw. Instead, he allegedly told police officers that his daughter “was sad because she received a whooping from him for being disrespectful and a liar.” Then he invoked his right to remain silent.
If the police report is telling the truth about this, Stoudemire’s words are significant because it highlights a belief held by parents of his generation and older—and Black parents in particular—that giving misbehaving children a “whooping” doesn’t constitute abuse. Certainly, few people would view Stoudemire punching his teenage daughter in the jaw as anything less than a horrific display of child abuse, but a lot of parents are still very old-fashioned and believe whooping a child with a belt, for example, is a proper disciplinary method to teach children obedience and not a thing to be conflated with child abuse. It’s only in recent years that child advocates have been widely challenging that notion.
Regardless, Amar’e Stoudemire denied that he assaulted his daughter at all.
“I could never see myself assaulting any person, especially my children,” Stoudemire wrote in an Instagram post invoking his “Jewish faith” as well as Hanukkah. “I respect, protect, and love my family, particularly my children. As a father, I ask for your grace as we secure our space and privacy.”
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