Who is Herschel Walker?Trump-backed Republicans go from NFL star to controversial Georgia campaign U.S. News

Former NFL star Herschel Walker is a Trump-backed Republican running for the Georgia Senate.

His campaign focused on family values, opposed abortion, and criticized absentee fathers.

He has been described as a “hypocrite” due to some of his views contradicting events in his personal life.

So who is Herschel Walker?

Mr. Walker was born in Augusta, Georgia, in 1962, one of seven children.

The 60-year-old is a former American football running back who has become a household name for his NFL appearances.

Mr. Walker was one of the most popular college players in the country and became a Georgia football star in the early 1980s.

In 1983, he signed with the NFL’s New Jersey Generals – a team that was later owned by Donald Trump.

He switched to the NFL in 1986 and built a career representing the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He retired in 1997.

He has previously spoken about his struggles with mental illness, writing in his 2008 book “Breaking Free” that he was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, once known as multiple personality disorder.

He wrote about his 2001 diagnosis and coping with as many as 12 personalities he developed as a child to fend off bullying.

Abortion Perspectives and Children

Mr Walker described abortion as “a woman killing her child”.

He has said he is pro-life and in August said he was against termination of pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest.

He also opposed doctor-recommended abortions to protect the mother’s health or life.

However, he later amended this to say he supports Georgia’s current state of the six-week ban, with exceptions.

Earlier this year, Mr Walker admitted to reports he had three children he had not publicly acknowledged – although he later said he never denied they were his.

Walker claims pressure on women to have abortions

Two women have come forward claiming Mr Walker made them pregnant and then pressured them to terminate the pregnancy.

In October 2022, a second woman said he paid her to have an abortion after a six-year affair with him.

Mr Walker has denied allegations by the first woman that he paid for an abortion in 2009 – after she gave birth to one of his children.

The first to come forward provided supporting documents to the online outlet The Daily Beast.

She said her allegation was supported by a receipt showing she paid $575 for the surgery, as well as a recovery card from Mr Walker.

Her bank deposit records show an image of a $700 personal check sent by Mr Walker five days after the abortion receipt, The Daily Beast reported.

“I’ve gotten rid of this stupidity. I’ve told people it’s a lie,” Mr Walker said.

In a statement posted on Twitter, he said he would file a lawsuit against the news outlet.

The women making the new claims spoke by phone at a news conference organized by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred.

She said: “Herschel Walker is a hypocrite, he’s not fit to be a U.S. Senator.

“We don’t need someone in the Senate to say one thing and do another. Herschel Walker said he was against abortion for women. But he pressured me to have an abortion.”

Ms Allred said the woman had years of documents, including receipts and greeting cards, documenting her romantic relationship with Mr Walker from the late 1980s to the 1990s. She showed some of them at a press conference.

The woman told reporters that she became pregnant in April 1993. The former NFL football star encouraged her to have an abortion and gave her money to pay for it, she said.

Please use the Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

“Are you a hypocrite, sir?”

She added that she went to a clinic in Dallas with the intention of having an abortion, but ultimately decided against it and left.

She claims Mr Walker persuaded her to go ahead with the surgery and drove her to the clinic the next day, where she went ahead with the abortion.

“He forced me to have an abortion and personally drove me to the clinic and paid for it to make sure it happened,” the woman said emotionally.

Republicans claim the allegations against Mr Walker are a “smear” campaign.

The Associated Press reported that a review of public records detailed allegations that Mr. Walker repeatedly threatened his ex-wife’s life, exaggerated claims of financial success and alarmed business partners with unpredictable behavior.

read more:
Why we should all worry about America’s future
Why midterm elections could have far-reaching implications for women’s rights

Herschel Walker and Donald Trump at a rally in Georgia in 2021
Mr Walker at a rally with Donald Trump

Why is the Georgia race so critical in the midterms?

Mr Walker’s goal is to replace incumbent Senator Rafael Warnock, a Georgia Democrat, in the election.

The results show which party controls the Senate.

The Senate is currently split 50-50 — but Democrats have control because the vice president can be asked to cast a tie-breaking vote.

There are 35 Senate elections that could see the upper house change hands, but only a few are seen as closely contested.

One of them is that Mr. Walker, who has the support of his friend and former U.S. President Donald Trump, is running for the Georgia race.

Nearly 300 candidates have endorsed Mr. Trump — 200 of whom have repeated his anti-democratic lie that he won the last election or that the result was deeply flawed.

Mr. Warnock, the Democratic opponent, served as pastor at the Atlanta church led by Martin Luther King Jr. and supported abortion and other reproductive health care.

Source link