The partners of current and former NFL players sounded off on what it meant to be with those men and dismissed the allegations of being “gold diggers” just because they are with pro athletes.
Jose Leinart, the wife of former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart, and Christen Harper, who is engaged to Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, talked about the dilemma in the latest episode of “Women of the League.”
Allison Kuch, who makes hilarious TikTok videos about what she goes through as the wife of Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Isaac Rochell, Whitney Risner, the wife of Denver Broncos offensive lineman Dalton Risner and Kym Jackson, the wife of New York Jets wide receiver Jeff Smith, also participated in the conversation.
“One of the things that bothers me so much, and I see it all the time in the comments section is how people view NFL wives and they are constantly viewing NFL wives, generally speaking, as gold diggers,” said Leinart, who had roles in the movie “17 Again” and the TV show “The Mentalist.”
Jackson dismissed the label of “gold digger” as well pointing to the fact that it mostly comes in the direction of people who are with pro athletes.
“Would you have that same degree of judgment for someone else,” she asked rhetorically.
Harper, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, said people just assume NFL players’ partners do not have jobs and are just following their spouses around. She said the women that she knows around the league are “doing so much more than just chasing a bag.”
“The number one thing I think people assume is that I won’t work because of him, and they’re not even considering maybe I like to or maybe that’s something that moves me… At the end of the day, it’s my choice,” Harper added.
The women also talked about the other difficulties that come with the side of the NFL life that most people don’t see or hear about. The women discussed family, finances, parenting children and the possibility of constantly moving around.