NFL star Chad Johnson has had a crazy year after he married Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada, followed by a headbutting incident weeks later which led to their divorce. Now, he’s owning up to his mistakes and getting help in an effort to fix his life and get his career back on track.
This week, he made an appearance on ESPN’s First Take with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith for a rare interview to talk about the incident and what the last few months of his life have been like.
Catch a few highlights:
On What Happened & Why
What happened was a mistake. That’s what happened. A mistake that I’ve continuously apologized for to the people that I’ve hurt, including my wife. I’ve stated that numerous times. You’ve heard it. I think me continuing to say sorry sort of drowns it out. I’ve accepted responsibility for my actions, especially with her by apologizing to my family, my friends, [and] the players I’ve let down, the Dolphins organization, everybody, including you. I’ve talked to both of you on the phone numerous times to let you know why I’m fighting for my wife the way I am. I know I’m in the wrong. Perception on the outside, everybody sees this one way.
There was a domestic dispute, for one, which was all my fault, because I’m living life the way it shouldn’t be lived. That’s why I lost everything I did. That man upstairs is [saying], ‘Let me bring you back a little bit, because your living a little too wild.’ So, it is what it is. I made the bed, I’m laying in it and I paid the price for what I did wrong.
On If He’d Been Unfaithful
Yes. That’s where everything stemmed from.
What He Thinks of Domestic Violence
My stance is it’s wrong. It’s common sense but I’ve made mistakes, as we all have. Don’t crucify me because we all sin differently, ’cause we all do.
On Being Public About the Domestic Violence, Arrest, & Being Cut From the Dolphins
Think about my life in general. What have I ever done privately? Nothing. Not my marriage, not the way I play the game, not the way I live my life. So when things go south and go sour, it should be the same way. It should be out there in the public eye. I’m no saint. I’m no angel. I never proclaimed to be. I was squeaky clean for a long time which is why I Was able to get away with some of the stuff that I’ve done. Finally I have to humble myself. I’m not complaining. I’m not fussing about being cut. I made my bed and I’m going to lay in it. I’m going to play again. I would think and I would hope so. If I don’t, I am fine with walking away.
I don’t have a choice. What am I gonna do? Knock down the doors? Beg? Child, please.
On If He Deserves a Second Chance
I would hope so. Everybody deserves a second chance. I’ve never been in trouble in the NFL except when it came to fines. That’s about it. I would hope I could get a second chance, but if I don’t…
On What He’s Doing to Help Change
Since the incident of course I’m getting the necessary help. I’ve been going to my domestic violence classes. I’m still training. That’s about all I can do. Just living life. Just learning from my mistakes. It’s funny that now that my life has slowed down, I’ve been able to see so many things a lot clearer. You don’t see it the way I’ve been able to see it now because everything is going so well, it’s so smooth. You got football, you got money coming here, you doing this, you doing that, but until it was all taken away from me, I couldn’t see the bigger picture.
On If He Has History of Domestic Violence
Yes. I’ve gotten in trouble in the past. I mean, a long — I’m not sure what year this was. ’97? I was in Santa Monica as a matter of fact.
On Taking All of the Blame
Why wouldn’t I sit here and tell you I’m wrong if I’m wrong? I’m behind those closed doors. Everyone has their perception of what they feel that happened. You say what you want to say based off what you see and might hear. If I’m the one telling you that I’m in the wrong and been in the wrong since day one, you wouldn’t listen to me and go along with that? I’m gonna sit here and be like, ‘Yeah, it’s her fault.’ I messed up. Period.