A Memo To Larry Johnson: Beating Up Girls=Bad

Nola ChickCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2008

The notion that it’s cool for football players to ‘hit on” every girl they see seems pretty harmless. At least, it did until Larry Johnson apparently got the message confused. The Chiefs running back once again faces suspension for allegedly assaulting a woman. This time, police say Johnson spat his drink in a woman’s face and threatened to kill her boyfriend. Classy.

According to NFL.com…

“(Ashley Stewart) told police that Johnson’s bodyguards then tackled her and that bouncers from the club escorted her outside. Johnson tried to spit on her three more times while walking to his car after the club manager asked him to leave.”

This isn’t Johnson’s first run-in with the law over a domestic violence related issue. In fact, he’s got a reputation that would make the late Ike Turner stand up in his grave for one last 80s-style "slow clap."

In 2003, Johnson was charged with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor domestic battery for waving a gun during an argument with a former girlfriend at his home. The charges were dropped when Johnson agreed to participate in a domestic violence diversion program.

In 2005, Johnson was accused of pushing a woman to the ground at a Kansas City bar. The charges were dropped when the woman failed to appear in court.
In February of this year, he was arrested for shoving the side of a woman’s face at a club. He could get up to six months in jail and a $500 fine if convicted.

If chivalry is dead, something tells me Larry Johnson beat it up during a night on the town.

Considering he’s never been convicted on any of the charges, you hate to call the guy a prick. So I won’t. Instead, I’ll call him a “suspected prick.” And to this “suspected prick”, I’ll say that even if the latter two of these accusations are proven to be true, you should get your ass kicked…right out of the league. I’m not talking the two game suspension or the $10,000 fine. I’m talking “bye-bye”…for the rest of the season.

Sounds harsh? Good. It should. How else can the league send a clear message that violence against women will not be tolerated in the NFL? It’s clear their methods in the past haven’t gone far enough.

Anyone remember back in 2003 when then Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman was accused of deliberately ramming his Hummer into a Mercedes-Benz driven by his wife and carrying his two-year-old son. It was his third domestic violence related arrest and it earned him a three game suspension.

According to the St. Petersberg Times, Pittman’s wife told investigators she was subjected to 30 to 40 incidents of domestic violence that were not reported. Pittman remains in the league as a back for the Broncos.

What about former Indianapolis Colts Defensive back Mustafah Muhammad, who was convicted in 2000 of beating his pregnant wife with his stepson standing by? That beatdown was only enough to earn a two game suspension.

By the way, Steve Smith of the Panthers got the same punishment for getting into a scuffle with his teammate in preseason. (Hmmm…beat up a pregnant lady vs fisticuffs with a teammate…yeah, that’s the same.)

If Roger Goodell wants to stay true to his tough talk, I say he walks the walk when it matters most…when it’s not so cut and dry. If you can suspend Adam Jones for four games for a drunken bar fight with a bodyguard, you can put the smack down on Johnson who now faces his fourth assault charge in five years.

We can’t have hissy fits over the Michael Vick dog-fighting fiasco while turning a blind eye to violence against women. And since money talks, let me remind you that us ladies make up nearly half the NFL’s fan base. Piss us off…and good luck peddling those pink jerseys to the other 50 percent of your fans.

Cross published at www.chicksinthehuddle.com