A.J. Green Would Skip NFL Game to Watch His Baby’s Birth

The football player is the latest pro athlete to put his family before the game.

When you’re a professional athlete with a team counting on you and devoted fans all over the country, missing a game is a big deal. But missing the birth of your child? If you’re anything like A.J. Green, that’s unthinkable.

The Cincinnati Bengals receiver is expecting his first son with his wife, Miranda Brooke. Miranda is due on September 30, which is the day after a game day. If she goes into labor a day early, the Bengals will have to face off against the Miami Dolphins without A.J..

 “I can’t play,” he told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “First one, definitely. I want to be there.”

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Green isn’t the only professional athlete to put family ahead of the sport. Chicago White Sox player Adam LaRoche made headlines when he walked away from the game – and the $13 million contract he was offered – after he was asked to stop bringing his 14-year-old son to the team’s clubhouse so often. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the move, with some calling out the team for failing to grasp #familyfirst values.

It’s great to see that no matter how successful he’s become, Green understands that no game will ever be more important than becoming a father for the first time. Naturally, the player hopes his child will be born on a day when he’s not scheduled to play. But if the choice comes down to being at his wife’s side or being out on the field, it’s great to hear that this athlete will make the right one.