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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Kie Kie
Leonard Hankerson is experiencing what his father could not. Being a dad fortifies his identity as he becomes a man himself at age 24. He navigates typical challenges of fatherhood in an atypical dynamic: He is operating without a blueprint; he's the product of a culture in which raising children is optional for fathers in many cases, and his job as a receiver for the Washington Redskins significantly impacts his role as a provider and caretaker for his children.
The two football fields at Lauderhill Middle School come alive each weeknight during the summer and fall. Youth football teams of all ages practice on their allotted sections of turf. Whistles chirp between the crunches of shoulder pads and helmets. Cheerleader squads rehearse their routines on the periphery.
"The children, they kind of understand, but they don't understand why we don't stay with Dad," Kie Kie said. "It's really hard for them, if anything. They like flying up and flying back, but they don't like leaving him. That's the hard part for the children. It's a lot on them."
L.J. calls him up to 50 times a day, Kie Kie said, and Hank confirmed that's no exaggeration.