I try not to get involved with the drama of professional athletes and their groupies, but sometimes avoiding it at all costs is a futile effort. Especially when it involves a man who enjoys Twitter more than he does playing football. Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson is the latest athlete to get into some legal troubles as a result of his personal life, and while it’s not surprising or shocking in the least, it is kind of interesting. With one head-butt to his new wife Chad Johnson ruined his life and the character that he has created over the past several years has become even more of a running joke, not just in New England but across the entire nation. Hard Knocks on the HBO Network certainly didn’t help his image.
In the past 48 hours Chad Johnson has lost his wife, his football career, and at least one reality television show that was supposed to chronicle what was most likely going to be a short marriage with Evelyn Lozada anyway. He also lost a chance of a starring role on the HBO series “Hard Knocks” that follows an NFL team during training camp, a role that made him even more of a household name when HBO followed his Cincinnati Bengals before the 2009 season. Domestic violence is a serious issue (and one that the NFL needs to attempt to educate its players about more thoroughly), but to think that Chad Johnson would have his life ruined over something so foolish is almost unfathomable. Unlike most athletes, Johnson doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and he keeps to himself (and his Prius) about as much as someone with over 3.6 million Twitter followers can. He learned the hard way that he is just another case where people who think they may be above the law or above ridicule certainly are not.
Johnson has not been an elite NFL receiver since that 2009 season. He had one lackluster season in 2010 with the Bengals and then in 2011 the Patriots gave him a year off, where he only had 15 catches and just 1 touchdown on the season. At 34 years old he is not the explosive athlete he once was and today he’s not even a player that you can expect to win a jump-ball deep ball even with his 6’1” frame. Chad Johnson is the type of guy you can expect to make headlines though, and unfortunately for the Dolphins he made them for all the wrong reasons ending up in the police blotter and not on the front page of the Miami Herald’s sports page.
On August 11, Ochocinco’s life changed forever. He was arrested at his home in Davie, Florida (Broward County) after his wife, Evelyn, confronted him about a receipt for a box of condoms. I guess it’s a good thing that Ochocinco was practicing safe sex, but apparently it wasn’t with Evelyn, and according to the police report Ocho became frustrated and grabbed her and butted her on the forehead causing a laceration. Evelyn allegedly tried to calm down the irate Ocho, but then decided to run to the neighbor’s house to contact police. The police came to the scene of the incident to find Ocho, who confirmed that there had been an argument over the receipt, but he then stated the Evelyn had been the aggressor who had head-butted him. With no visible marks or bruises on Ocho, and an approximately three-inch gash on Evelyn, the police had no choice but to arrest Chad Johnson and the rest is history. His football career is on hold, his marriage is in shambles, and his public image ruined forever.
Now, nobody knows exactly what happened in that house and it would be unfair to say anything conclusively about either individual involved. And truth be told, you don’t even have to. Chad Johnson ruined his life by even creating this possible situation of scrutiny, and at least from my perspective Evelyn had nothing to lose by making this incident public. Either it is legit and what was alleged truly happened the way that police and the general public feel it did, or it’s an improvable lie where a known gold-digger (a woman once engaged to a Boston Celtic with a terrible attitude, my man Antoine Walker) took advantage of a situation where she could get in and out of a sham marriage with a couple million of Johnson’s bankroll. I don’t want it to sound like I’m against a victim reporting a crime like this, but they were married for a grand total of 41 days (an entire month less than Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian for those following NBA relationships), so this incident just reeks of something not kosher. Either way, this situation just flat out sucks.
As with any incident like this, there is something to learn not only for athletes but for the common man as well. It is never okay to hit a woman, and when it happens it is something that needs to be dealt with. Going to police is not always the best way to handle these situations, but it is the only way that the victim will feel safe sometimes (and probably most of the time) it is the only way to go, and unfortunately for Chad Johnson that is the way that Evelyn decided to go in this case. As a man, if you put yourself in that situation, you have no say in the consequences. Johnson spent the night in jail, got cut from his NFL team the next day, and then today Evelyn filed for divorce. That trifecta is just about the worst case scenario that anyone could ever go through, but folks, it just happened. Sadly this is not the first time that Johnson has gone through this, but hopefully for him it is the last.