Chad Johnson is innocent until proven guilty.
Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada accused her husband of domestic violence this weekend and he was arrested. The Miami Dolphins proceeded to release Johnson the next day. Unlike Joe Philbin, fans should resist judging Johnson until the fog is cleared because only he and Lozada know what truly happened that night.
TMZ reported that Lozada claimed Johnson head-butted her in a fight they had over a condoms receipt. During the sequence of events, he allegedly exploded: “I don't give a (expletive)! I don't give a (expletive) about my career!”
Lozada did indeed have a three-inch laceration on her forehead, but Johnson argued she was the one that head-butted him.
She ran to a neighbor’s house following the incident. And while Lozada accused Johnson of trying to track her down in his car, Johnson said that he just wanted to give Lozada time to cool off.
Before we go any further, it must be noted that Johnson has no recent history of been convicted of a crime, arrested, nada. The one incident on his record is an altercation with a girlfriend while he was in junior college, but this happened over a decade ago. Many unfairly label him as a troublemaker because of his lust for attention, but no one has accused Johnson of being a criminal since his NFL career began.
According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, Lozada will press charges, and until the judge slams his gavel with an official ruling, the information that we’ve been fed have an asterisk next to them.
On Monday’s ESPN First Take, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless dove in to the topic.
Smith in particular stressed that drawing conclusions too early would be a mistake. Not only because of the “he said, she said” nature of the drama, but because drama is what Lozada does for a living. He said:
I’m looking at reality TV, I’m looking at the character she plays, the way she conducts herself on TV … ultimately, here you are in a situation where, believe it or not, in the age that we’re living in, how much you want to make a bet that she benefits from this, but Chad, the football player, his career is now officially in jeopardy.
Smith hit Twitter after the show aired and said:
My intent was NOT to call out Eve Lazada at all. Don't know her. All we can go by is what we see on TV.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) August 13, 2012
And based on THAT......I stand by what I said. Every word of it!— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) August 13, 2012
Smith is right, though.
The reputation Lozada has earned through her reality TV show isn’t exactly of a saint. And unlike Johnson, she’s had legal trouble before.
It’s easy to kick a man while he’s down. But don’t kick too hard because Johnson hasn’t been convicted of a thing of yet.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.