Is Johnny Manziel sliding back into his old ways? That’s the concern a day after learning the Cleveland Browns quarterback was pulled over by police. According to a report by Joe Pagonakis of ABC 5, Manziel was stopped by police in Avon, Ohio during a serious verbal altercation with Texas Christian University girlfriend, Colleen Elizabeth Crowley.
Interestingly, that’s not what initially led to police involvement. In actuality, law enforcement officials were called when Johnny Manziel reportedly used the shoulder of the road to pass a woman at high-speed. That individual called 9-1-1 to report Manziel.
— Complex (@ComplexMag) October 16, 2015
Avon police caught up to Johnny on Nagle Road, at which point ABC 5 reported the Cleveland Browns player admitted both he and his girlfriend had previously been drinking. The couple was having a night out, but things allegedly soured when Manziel changed evening plans without warning. According to the police report, the entire argument started after the pair planned to see a movie. Crowley assumed it would be a nice “date night,” but Johnny Manziel decided to pick up a friend; this upset his girlfriend tremendously. Things became especially heated when Crowley threw the 22-year-old’s wallet out the window while he was driving. Bleacher Report said a witness saw the angry girlfriend attempt to exit the vehicle while it was moving and was concerned enough to call the police.
After the admission to police that prior to the verbal spat he’d been drinking, some might automatically assume Manziel was guilty of a DUI. Apparently not. According to the officer’s report, though the pair did consume alcohol earlier that day, Manziel was not determined to be over the legal limit. Mary Kay Cabot of the Northeast Ohio Media Group said on Twitter that Johnny admitted to a couple of drinks, but his girlfriend was “impaired.”
Understanding the public concern and perception on the Internet, Johnny Manziel has since released a statement about the incident.
“Colleen and I got into a dumb public argument on the way home Monday afternoon. It probably looked more interesting than it was, and I know I would stop and check if I saw a couple arguing on the side of the road.
It was embarrassing but not serious and when we talked to the police, and they realized everything was alright and I was sober, we went home together, and everything is fine.”
E! News reports Johnny’s girlfriend Colleen released a similar statement, saying that she “could see how it might have looked” but also stating that it was just a “private argument” and everything’s “all good” now.
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) October 16, 2015
It’s understanding how a situation like this can be alarming to football fans. First there’s the potential element of domestic violence. It’s a topic that has caused many critics to come down on the NFL’s poor handling of players accused or found guilty of abusive behaviors. NFL legend Terry Bradshaw was even moved to speak out on the subject.
Also, because alcohol was involved — and because Johnny Manziel wrapped up 11 weeks of rehab prior to the season — there’s also the potential to be concerned that the young quarterback has “fallen off the wagon” or gone back to old habits.
However, looking at the situation, there doesn’t seem to be enough to justify jumping to conclusions. As Manziel is currently not starting for the Cleveland Browns, this controversy will likely not fit into the team’s short-term plans. It’s also likely that Manziel will want to avoid any future public problems as he clearly remains under heavy public scrutiny, and he won’t necessarily be granted the benefit of the doubt.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) October 16, 2015
What do you think about the Johnny Manziel incident? Do you think the argument and “a couple of drinks” has been blown out of proportion or is this a sign of future screw-ups? Comment below.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]