From the Lefthand Corner: Ham family is an example of Christian athletes

Minnesota Viking is a shining example of fatherhood


This column is a reaction to a human interest story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune sports section a week ago.

That column features two people. One a few of you football fans will recognize as a third tier running back for the Minnesota Vikings. The other is his wife, Stephanie. They epitomize how to make their children rich in happiness.

I’ve often said that the richest children on earth are those with two (or more) loving parents. It doesn’t matter a lot whether they’re growing up under ultra-rich circumstances or in a crowded hut in Honduras.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have come and gone for 2021. The more recent Father’s Day was great, watching for a while as my just stated opinion evolved as my son and daughter-in-law interacted with their five and a half lively, young individuals. A couple of them invite the stereotype comment, "They wear you out just watching them."

I haven’t noted C. J. Ham to be very talkative to the press and public, but he certainly speaks well for fatherhood and appears to be a great example to draw from. I don’t know the Hams personally, and I don’t expect to meet C. J., nor his wife, nor his children.


I just read about them, as others. However, I can admire from afar the example they set among our overemphasized and over publicized sports world.

C. J. Ham won’t likely be publicized among the sports “greats” of football; but he can well be remembered as one of the greater examples of sports publicized fatherhood.

C. J. and Stephanie met while she was a soccer star and he was a running back at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Star Tribune story said. They are now a Vikings family, raising their biracial threesome - Skylar, Stella and Cortez - in their Twin Cities home.

C. J. is not the most gifted athlete around. He had to work hard to make the Vikings team and is a good example of super effort instead of super natural talent.

When football “work” for his day is over, he readily slides that super effort over seamlessly to being a super dad. In what would have been frowned upon and illegal a few decades ago, the biracial Hams show us all how diversity in heredity can come together as a biracial family that is a great example for all.

C. J. and Stephanie have found positive support in joining fellow Vikings Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen and Dakota Dozier and their wives in a weekly Bible study group, combined with their children all playing together, the Star Tribune story says.

Ham grew up naturally into his existent family role. His mother died last year. She left him with, “Love those around you as much as you can. ... It’s not about yourself; it’s about others."

His dad, a Duluthian, lives the same way, “bending over backwards to help those in need, and help those around him," the Star Tribune reported. Recently he spent hours driving from his job in Duluth to get to granddaughter Stella’s first soccer game that lasted all of 25 minutes because it was “important” that he be there.


Ham observes that’s what he grew up with, and told the Star Tribune: “It’s something I do in my life, and want to instill in my children.”

“Anyone can be a parent,” C. J. says in the Star Tribune story. “It doesn’t take anything to make a child, but to be a mom or dad is a totally different thing, and it’s intentional; that’s work; that’s love."

And so it is.

Don Bye - From the Lefthand Corner.jpg
Don Bye, columnist

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