Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli and Head Coach Todd Haley may be willing to forgive Larry Johnson for his continued bad behavior, but fans of the Chiefs aren't.
After Johnson's recent Twitter-bashing of his head coach and subsequent gay-slurring tirades against a Twitter follower and the local press, it seemed all but certain that Johnson's days in Kansas City would finally be over.
However, after the Chiefs initially suspended Johnson for two weeks, they apparently decided that belittling Haley and antagonizing fans was only worth a one week suspension.
So after six and a half seasons, four assaults on women, and several games missed for his off the field embarrassments; Pioli seems to believe Johnson is due yet another chance. A chance that not everyone is willing to give Johnson with him poised to break the team rushing record held by Priest Holmes.
At least three lifetime Chiefs fans don't agree. Fans Dan Cataldi, Andy Phelan, and Joe Pinsky started an online petition in hopes of convincing Pioli and Haley to deactivate Johnson for the rest of the season.
Can you blame them?
Johnson has been a malcontent and a source of off-field trouble during his entire career with the Chiefs. By contrast Holmes, whose neck injury in 2005 opened the door for Johnson, is almost as popular for what he's done off the field in Kansas City as for what he did on it.
Stated simply, Holmes is one of the most popular players in Chiefs history and Johnson is the player who most Chiefs fans want to forget.
If Holmes had never been injured, it's very possible that Johnson would have become some other team's malcontent, and never would have gotten this close to Holmes's record.
Instead, Johnson took off the "diaper" that former Coach Dick Vermeil so famously insinuated that Johnson had worn, and proceeded to rush for over 3,500 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2005 and 2006.
In 2007, Johnson and his gigantic ego felt he deserved a new contract and he threatened to sit out training camp. He proceeded to secure the most lucrative contract in Chiefs history, and he has been no where near as productive since.
To Chiefs fans, Johnson is the guy who shows up at the prom alone, punches the guy with the prettiest date in the face, steals the girl, and proceeds to tell everyone in the school about it. And right now, Pioli is the principal who is looking the other way.
Owner Clark Hunt, Pioli, and Haley need to admit it... they made a mistake when they decided not to release or trade Johnson before the season began. Johnson is a 30 year-old spoiled brat who has been empowered by an organization that looks the other way.
Johnson doesn't respect his coach, his general manager, his owner, or the fans whose hard earned money pays his ridiculous salary.
For those reasons, more than 7,000 fans have signed the online petition created by three lifelong fans.
And by the time you get done reading this article, my bet is the total number of names asking the Chiefs to deactivate Johnson will be substantially higher.
The ball is in your court, Scott Pioli.
Will you listen to the fans and deactivate Johnson for the rest of the season?
Or will you allow one of the most hated Chiefs in team history to throw another drink in the face of Chiefs fans everywhere, and allow him to break the team rushing record of beloved former Chief?
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