Skip to Content

Karl Malone Is Sick Of Being Asked About Impregnating A Child

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 19: Karl Malone looks on during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2023 NBA All Star Weekend on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

About four decades ago, when he was a 20-year-old basketball player at Louisiana Tech, former Utah Jazz star Karl Malone impregnated a child, Gloria Bell. Bell was 13 years old when she gave birth to Malone's son; her family decided not to press charges against Malone because he was a "neighborhood kid" and because it's hard to pay child support from prison. Malone did not provide support for the child and his lawyers eventually settled a lawsuit brought by Bell's family. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed, but allowed Malone to avoid publicly acknowledging that he was the father of Bell's child, though his paternity was never in doubt. For years, Malone ignored his son, just as he ignored two other children he had with another woman, Bonita Ford, when both Ford and Malone were 17. Malone also settled a lawsuit out of court with Ford.

Malone, whom the NBA invited to judge this year's dunk contest at All-Star Weekend, has never publicly addressed these facts of his life, and this is what he said this weekend when the Salt Lake Tribune asked about how evolving social norms and more awareness about power dynamics and consent have brought renewed scrutiny to his past:

“As players, we hear what’s written about us or said about us,” Malone acknowledged.

So then, what does he think of the more negative perception of him now?

I’m not discussing any of that backlash. I don’t care,” he said defiantly. “That’s my life, that’s my personal life, and I’ll deal with that like I’ve had to deal with everything. So, whatever.”

He’s aware of the shifting narrative, but has no thoughts about it?

“Whatever. I’m human.”

He then followed with a bit of protracted silence, making the point that he was done talking about his reputation.

Salt Lake Tribune

I thought all this fell under the category of "common knowledge that gets cordoned off as irrelevant history when convenient for powerful interests like those of the NBA," but apparently some people are unaware of this history. So here's a reminder: Karl Malone impregnated a child 39 years ago and is evidently remorseless to this day, and the NBA cares so little about this that the league thought it would be a good idea to give Malone a prominent role in this past weekend's all-star festivities.

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter