Denzel Washington might be one of the most prestigious and beloved actors on the planet but when it comes to watching one of his four kids play sports, it turns out he isn’t really that different from any other dads. Earlier this week, Washington was a guest on the Bill Simmons Podcast, where Simmons asked Washing what he was like as a sports parent, including his behavior in the stands. Rather than plead the fifth, Washington opened up about his days as a sports dad, admitting that he was a bit of an overbearing supporter who always wanted his kid to get the ball or score the goal.
“You know what I was like,” Washington explained. “‘Get the ball!’ ‘Give him the ball!’ ‘Go! Give him the ball, give it to my son!'”
This sort of attitude is incredibly common among parents of athletes but it’s still funny to hear that Washington was just as lovingly over-the-top as the average dad you are guaranteed to see yelling passionately from the sideline at any local tee-ball game.
Washington also spoke about his son John David Washington, who currently stars in HBO’s Ballers alongside the Rock. But before John David became an actor, he attempted to make it to the NFL as a running back and ended up spending four years with the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions.
Washington admits he was nervous about his son playing football but he ultimately supported him chasing his dream. According to the Oscar-winning actor, a large part of his son’s motivation to play football was to prove that he could find success outside of his father.
“You know, you got 200 guys trying to get 40-something jobs,” Washington says. “So he used to get, ‘Well, what are you doing out here? Your dad’s this …’ So that was his chip on his shoulder… He hated that. He hated it. He wanted to break your leg for saying that.”