By Bryanna McDermott | The Duquesne Duke
Johnny Manziel’s career has been a series of unfortunate events that are far greater than the game of football.
On Thursday February fourth, Dallas Police announced that another investigation is underway on domestic abuse claims against the Cleveland Browns quarterback. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner allegedly hit his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, before stating, “Shut up or I’ll kill us both,” during an encounter at a downtown Dallas hotel on January 29, according to the police report. The dispute led to a helicopter search for Manziel, who fled the scene after making the threat.
Although Manziel was later found safe, the incident will ultimately change his life both on and off the field.
Days after the incident, the Cleveland Browns announced that they will release Manziel in March. “We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field … Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations, undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization,” Vice President of football operations Sashi Brown said in the team’s official statement on Manziel’s status.
The news comes after a long stint of controversy that followed Manziel throughout his football career. “Johnny Football” was simply unable to leave his party days back in college in order to become an elite NFL quarterback.
During the preseason of his rookie year, Manziel was fined $12,000 for flipping off the opposing team’s bench after a loss. Shortly after, he was fined again for not showing up to practice. Later that season, Manziel spent 73 days in a Pennsylvania drug and alcohol treatment center.
Manziel didn’t come back to the NFL a changed man after his time in rehab. His sophomore season began with a domestic violence incident with then-girlfriend, Crowley. Police didn’t pursue the case and the NFL dealt no punishment, but it showed that Manziel’s alcohol problems haven’t been solved. Months later, a concussed Manziel failed to attend a scheduled medical treatment and was photographed in a Las Vegas casino instead.
The Browns deciding to let go of Manziel is a sign for Johnny Football to hang up his cleats, for his own health.
Manziel’s own father, Paul, fears for his son’s life. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, Paul said that if his son doesn’t get help soon, “he won’t live to see his 24th birthday.” It was also stated that the family tried to convince Johnny to enter rehab twice within the week following the incident, but he refused.
There comes a time when sports are no longer what matters. Johnny Manziel has shown throughout his football career that he is not fully capable of handling the responsibilities that come with being a professional athlete. The touchdowns thrown and games played mean nothing when a player is struggling internally in his everyday life.
There are no excuses for the embarrassment Manziel brought to both Texas A&M and the NFL, but it’s clear to see that he is in dire need of help – help that can come if he simply steps away from the game, because one thing is certain, time is running out and Johnny Football is out of second chances.