Chanita Foster Talks Baby Mama Drama, Footballers With No Medical Insurance
Exactly. And the thing is, is that guy gonna go get an Escort and pull into the team parking lot where everybody else is driving a Range Rover a Bentley or a Benz? No. The world tells him that he’s an NFL player and he’s supposed to drive a certain type of car so he’s gonna get that certain type of car and he’s gonna create this lifestyle where financially he isn’t able to maintain and they do it a lot. I went into my marriage believing that we had a certain type of money and we didn’t and that’s fine but that’s all within the perception. So, I think for a lot of people watching the show⎯I said this on Twitter⎯we’re crushing a lot of people’s dreams. And the best way I can compare this is if you’ve ever had a celebrity that you wanted to meet and you go out and meet that celebrity and they end up being rude, you’ve pretty much crushed your dreams. Everything that you made up in your mind about that person is not really true. I think that’s what’s happening with Football Wives. I think they thought they were gonna turn on this show and people are living in big houses and everybody’s driving a Bentley, everybody goes to red carpet events and that’s not true and they really don’t know how to deal with it so we’re like dream crushers right now. Some people do live like that but the percentage of it is, we have 53 people on the roster, we probably have 15 people that actually live that lifestyle where the rest of those people they truly don’t.
You said in an interview that you were making more money than your man is that the reality for a lot of football wives?
It is the reality but don’t get it twisted because my husband was like, “Huh?” My husband was a number one draft pick for the Denver Broncos back in 2003. I think the signing bonus was $3.6 million. My husband has made a lot of money but right now if you’re talking about his UFL salary and what I’m bringing in as far as me doing a reality show and the different businesses that I have, on a technicality I’m making more money than him. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It’s just to say that there are different variations of people and we’re ok with it. And that’s another thing, when did having a job become a bad thing? I addressed that too, like, Britney works at hooters, I worked at hooters, it’s a job, when are people mad at somebody who has a job? My husband plays in the UFL. It’s a job. He goes to work he pays his bills and he takes care of his family just like everybody else. I’m confused about when that became a bad thing.
It’s ironic because some of the women in the other wife show franchises get criticized for not working but here you guys are…
We work hard. It’s so funny because we get flack and my thing is, if you want to hear the story here’s the story, but give us ratings and watch the story. You want to know about real football players and what they’re going through because the truth is, out of 53 players 50 of them will go unknown for about 5 years from now. You will only remember the big names like a Deion Sanders. There can only be one Deion Sanders and I get it, I understand it. I’m not mad. I’m not jealous. I’m not a hater. That man has been blessed to be put in the position that he’s in but realize that the year Deion Sanders decided to retire from that team there were probably hundreds or maybe even thousands of other players that decided to retire on that same day and you’ll never hear about them ever again in life. That’s our reality and it’s a big reality and it’s a different reality, and we’re fine with it but don’t say you don’t want to hear about it or it’s not true or you don’t get it, because that’s real life.
What’s your theory on why other athletes like hockey players, basketballers, etc are better paid than some of these NFL players?
I don’t know. I’ve been all way to Congress, to the White House and I have no idea.
Are you serious?
I’m serious. I’m the youngest person that sits on the board for Off the Field, which is our wives organization. I visited the Player’s Association Headquarters just recently. I marched on Capitol Hill regarding our potential lock outs⎯see those are things you wont find out on the show. I’ve actually been to the White House last year but I don’t know, I’m one of those women⎯I’m very educated. I like school. You can’t just tell me anything so I actually want to learn some of these answers and it’s kind of amazing because even going on Capitol Hill, the people that are there that are senators and Congress people, they had no idea. They’re believing the same thing the rest of America is believing, like, “What do you mean y’all don’t have insurance?” I’m like, after five years of playing our insurance disappears and you’re not gonna let me on Medicaid so we got a problem, and they actually didn’t get it. It’s not a knock to anybody on Capitol Hill but our issues, until they become big issues, have not been issues so I’m trying to get the answers just like you’re trying to get the answers, because I have children and it’s my job to provide for them and to protect them and if something’s gonna directly affect them as far as insurance or my husband’s pension then it’s my job to go out and figure out what the problem is.
That’s crazy. It’s obvious that football players get knocked around a lot but the general consensus must be that since they’re wearing helmets and padding they’re relatively fine.
Not at all. And it’s been proven that football players at the early age of 45 and 50 begin to get dementia and Alzheimer’s due to the head-on collisions that they have. They’re now doing a lot of research on the brain. There’s maybe two or three NFL players, don’t quote me—I know it’s more than one but I don’t know what the actual number—but that their wives donated their actual brain after they died to scientific studies on concussions so they’re beginning to take notice. I know we caught a lot of flack when for the episode when our husbands were leaving. We got a lot of flack from the military wives saying it’s not a sacrifice. They said their husbands sacrifice for this country but my husband sacrifices too. Just like your husband made a choice to go into the armed forces, my husband is making a choice in the job that he chooses and I think we’re making the same sacrifices knowing that he could potentially not make it out of the game and even when he makes it home he’ll never make it home the same. So we do share a parallel but I just think that people still don’t get it.
You seem to be in a functional and supportive relationship but how do you deal with your husband having a child from previous relationship?
Girl, my babymama drama? [Laughs]. You trying to say it nice. I’m glad and that’s why I was so mad at Pilar because I love Vh1, I love our crew and I love our executive producer. They put us in the position to tell our stories with integrity and the way we wanted to. I know me getting on national TV and acting a’fool with my husband’s babymama would not only embarrass me but also embarrass my husband. So it was difficult and I think in the bonus clips they show where I said, “I didn’t think I was signing up to marry someone that had kids,” but more so than not, this happens a lot and not just in football but in real life where you’re dating some man and everything’s going great and then, wham, you find out he’s been married before, he’s still married and he got some baby somewhere. So that’s reality and that was my reality and I’m glad I got a chance to get it off my chest and I’m glad it played out the way it did because it could have been really bad but it wasn’t.
What advice do you have for other women in that situation as far as making it work with the other woman, for the sake of the family?
I think it takes a lot of prayer and a lot of work. I don’t think our ride has been anything other than a rollercoaster. I believe in counseling, some don’t but I’m an advocate. A lot of times, especially if you’re dealing with a strong man or especially as African Americans, we know with a lot of our problems in our household, we don’t believe in going out and getting somebody to help you. Most people’s total philosophy is what goes on in this house stays in this house and that’s a bad mentality. If you know there’s a problem and you’re not able to fix that problem within your household then I’m an advocate of going out and getting help⎯a pastor, a preacher, a bishop, a counselor⎯whatever the case may be because there are people really hurting and the only people that suffer in the end are the kids. So, I just think me and my husband⎯like I said⎯it’s a rollercoaster, it’s a lot of prayer, we’ve been to counselors, we try to make the situation open we try to keep the lines of communication open, I try to do my best to maintain the best relationship I can with his babymama because at the end of the day that’s his child’s mother and I don’t want to be disrespectful to her because being disrespectful to her is being disrespectful to my stepdaughter who I really do love very much. So to anybody in that situation, I would say prayer, love, and a whole lot of help.
So she’s technically your stepchild and then…help us make sense of all the other kids you have because we don’t see them all on the show.
I have two adopted and one step daughter. And then as far as my biological kids, I have my one-year-old, my 3-year-old, and my 4-year-old. I think they got it wrong on my bio. Somebody said my daughter came from a neighbor. She didn’t come from a neighbor she came from a really bad situation and we just helped her out. And I hope we get to tell our story because it was a real life Blind Side story. We didn’t know her from Adam and I really went out and just swept up a kid off the street it’s a really deep story. And then my son actually lives in Swaziland, Africa. Right now there’s not really a situation in place where you can just go over and adopt their children. You just cant go over there and take no kids it’s run by a king and they do things a little different than these other third world countries where if you think you want to adopt a baby, you just go over there throw some money around and fill out some paper work and you get a baby. You can’t just go get a baby from Swaziland it’s not that easy. Every time we look at the rules they change. The last time we saw them it said you have to be a resident living in their country for at least two years before you can adopt a child so with that said, I met my son, fell in love with him and we take care of him financially. He’s in school, he’s loved, he’s cared for he’s provided for, he has shelter and between me and my husband we go back every three months so we get to see him a lot. He just turned 18 so he’s older. The reason why we chose older children is because they suffer the most when they’re warded to the state. People always want to go out and get a cuddly baby and bring home a baby and raise them and I get that, we’ve had infants in our house. It’s the ones that get from 12 on up that are gonna suffer the most because those are the children that people don’t want to take. And trust me, it’s a lot of work because both of them all to way from Africa to my daughter⎯they’re set in their ways, they have their opinions and trying to mold them into what we believe in and our beliefs and values. It’s really hard but I just feel like God wouldn’t give us a challenge that we couldn’t win so it’s a little difficult but that’s why we selected them, because we wanted to give children an opportunity and also enable them now that they’re going into the world before most of the smaller kids. That way they can plant the seed for the younger kids and then continue on what we gave them and pass it on.
What do you want people to take away from Chanita Foster?
I want people to take away from Chanita Foster that yes, I am loud. That is undeniable but I’m also very loving, and I’m very giving. We give so much and I mean a lot. Often times people say, y’all are rich, y’all have to give but no. That’s what me and dawn were arguing about on the show it’s a sacrifice. Sometimes I sacrifice whether I’m gonna put my kid in an $80 an hour gymnastics class because I’m trying to help somebody out. I want them to take away that me and my husband are tithers. We tithe to our church so the money that most people get to run around and throw around and my husband and I give to the church. I want them to walk away with I’m trying to leave a legacy that’s bigger and beyond football and when I die, I want my kids to know that me and my husband stood for something, that we believed in something more than Louboutins a big house and his foo