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Archive for Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chiefs tell Johnson to stay away for now

October 28, 2009

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— Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson issued his second apology in 12 months Tuesday and was told to stay away from the team while the NFL and the Chiefs complete their investigation into his use of a gay slur.

As Johnson was releasing his apology, a national gay-rights-advocacy organization called on the league and the team to take disciplinary action against the two-time Pro Bowler.

The latest chapter in Johnson’s stormy career began Sunday night when he questioned coach Todd Haley’s football credentials on his Twitter account.

He used the slur during an exchange with one of his Twitter followers. A day later, he used it again as he brushed off reporters and told them he would not comment, according to the Kansas City Star, which recorded the comment.

Haley refused to address the matter Tuesday, saying it was still being investigated.

“I’m just not going to comment any further because there is some stuff going on,” Haley said.

Johnson, who turns 30 next month, signed a five-year contract extension in 2007 that included $19 million guaranteed and could be worth up to $45 million. The team could be checking to see whether Johnson violated contract provisions that would allow the Chiefs to cut him with reduced financial obligation.

Last spring, an arbitrator ruled that the Chiefs could release the running back and not owe him $3.5 million in guaranteed money because he had violated contract conditions by pleading guilty to disturbing the peace in another incident.

The issue became moot when the team elected not to cut him and, until he began tweeting on Sunday night, the often-volatile Johnson had been on good behavior.

The Chiefs said they have told Johnson he would not be allowed to practice with the team or participate in team activities until the matter was resolved, though he has not been suspended. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league would have no comment pending the investigation.

Johnson, who needs only 75 yards rushing to become the Chiefs’ all-time leader, apologized to Haley, the team, fans and the league “for the words I used.”

“I regret my actions. The words were used by me in frustration, and they were not appropriate,” he said through a spokesman. “I did not intend to offend anyone, but that is no excuse for what I said.”

The apology sounded similar to one he made almost exactly a year ago after one woman accused him of throwing a drink on her and another said he had pushed her. The incidents happened separately in Kansas City nightclubs and led to his being sentenced to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to two counts of disturbing the peace.

“I’m going to work to that point to get my life back on track and know that I and I alone put myself in these critical situations and environments to where things don’t come out favorably to me,” he said on Oct. 22, 2008.

At the time, Johnson was benched for three games by then-coach Herm Edwards and suspended for a game by commissioner Roger Goodell.

On Tuesday, Johnson apologized to “all the kids who view athletes as role models. I was not a good role model yesterday and hopefully I can become a better role model. We all make mistakes, and the challenge is to learn from them.

“I will do my best to learn from this one as I move toward becoming a better person, teammate, and member of the Kansas City Chiefs team and community.”

Johnson’s agent said all his client could do now was wait.

“It’s up to the NFL to investigate it and see what they want to do, and we will respond accordingly,” Peter Schaffer told The Associated Press. “We’ve apologized. Larry’s trying to move forward. It is what it is right now.”

Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, called on the NFL and the Chiefs to take disciplinary action and seize a chance to educate “on the dangers of homophobia in sports.”

Comments

Bob Harvey 4 years, 11 months ago

I am begging the Chiefs to not allow Johnson to get those 75 yards needed to become their all-time leading rusher. Why recognize someone who clearly is a cancer on that team?

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Matt Warman 4 years, 11 months ago

Trade him if you can, but get rid of him, now!

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Shane Garrett 4 years, 11 months ago

Maybe he was just refering to a British Cig. Oh, I guess not if he had to bow his head in shame for allowing his years of hard work to be overlooked and under appreciated, but a slip of the lip gets him admonished. So easy it is for small people to be so emotionally sensitive. So what if he thinks that people whom have never participated in a sport which results in a violent collision on every play are thought of as limp wristed and weak. Thank you L.J. for your years of service with the KC Chefs. And my disapointment with that organization is on par.

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Shane Garrett 4 years, 11 months ago

The oranization should not believe what their fat little girl friends are telling them.

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Shane Garrett 4 years, 11 months ago

KSU 38 - KU 27 KSU wins big 12 North.

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Randall Barnes 4 years, 11 months ago

WAY TO GO JOHNSON KEEP IT UP SHOW YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEACH, HOPE THEY LET HIM RETURN AND PLAY.HE CANT CALL SOMEONE GAY,HE CANT CALL A BLACK PERSON,,,, BUT HE CAN CALL ME A HONKEY OR A CRACKER AND NOTHING WOULD EVER BE DONE ABOUT THAT,NOT THAT I WOULD MIND CAUSE I AM.

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Mel Briscoe 4 years, 11 months ago

rando and wally sittin' in a tree.......

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Shane Garrett 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, honeychild, sticks and stones....

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Ricky_Vaughn 4 years, 11 months ago

I've hated this guy ever since Dick Vermeil told him to take his diapers off and go to work (that was classic). Uncle Dick was trying to tell everyone something that day...

I say suspend him without pay for the rest of the season (so he can't play for anyone else) and then cut him at the end of the season. Good riddens!

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jimmyjms 4 years, 11 months ago

Being that Lawrence High would beat the living daylights out of the Chiefs on any given sunday, who cares about this bundle of sticks?

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Ricky_Vaughn 4 years, 11 months ago

I care, because it's my hometown PROFESSIONAL NFL team. Even if they went 0-16 for 5 years they'd trump high school football in my book.

By the way, LHS can't beat anybody...at least the Chiefs have one win...

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tbaker 4 years, 11 months ago

The only people Larry Johnson seems able to beat are women.

He is a spoiled, ignorant thug, and a second-rate player. He is cancerous liability to an all-ready demoralized team. I agree with Ricky - get into his wallet for the rest of the year and then kick him to the curb.

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Randall Barnes 4 years, 11 months ago

I SERIOUSLY DOUBT ANY OF YOU ARE CHIEFS FANS OR AMERICIANS,,,, CAUSE IF YOU WERE YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH,,, YOU ARE JUST CRY BABIES DONT EVEN KNOW WHY I READ YOUR SMART _ _ _ BLOGGS AND IF I WERE IN A CROWDED BAR AND AND I BUMPED INTO LJ AND HIS DRINK SPILLED ON ME HECK I WOULD SELL THAT SHIRT NOT CRY LIKE A BABY

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gccs14r 4 years, 11 months ago

The line in his tweet, "U don't stop my checks", should tell the Chiefs all that matters to Larry Johnson. Ricky_Vaughn's idea is spot on. Maybe next year he can go hat in hand to Buffalo and match egos with TO.

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hawkman8950 4 years, 11 months ago

Funny, he's suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. The NFL should just suspend the Chiefs for losing, because technically, that is conduct detrimental to the team!

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