College football star and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel, broke his silence about his struggles with alcohol and other issues earlier this month on Good Morning America, but the Hamilton Tiger-Cats should stay as far away from the 25-year-old athlete as possible.
Manziel took the sporting world by storm at the age of 19, when he became the first freshman to win the Heisman, awarded to the best player in college football.
The legend of “Johnny Football” was born.
That was the peak of his football career as his final year at Texas A&M University and his two-year stint in the NFL were plagued with off-field issues including domestic violence charges filed against him in 2014.
The Tiger Cats confirmed in January they had made an offer to the quarterback but it’s now over a month later and Manziel has yet to accept. That may not be a bad thing for the Tiger-Cats.
Art Briles was fired as Baylor’s football coach in May, 2016, after over 30 of his players were accused of committing over 50 sexual assaults. Just over a year later, in August, the Tiger-Cats hired Briles, his first job since leaving Baylor, just to reverse the decision 12 hours later after backlash from fans, the media and sponsors.
“It was a poor decision, in retrospect, that we shouldn’t have made,” said Tiger-Cats CEO, Scott Mitchell. “Everything we do demonstrates great community will, everything we do in the community we’re very sincere about it and I think, clearly, we missed the mark in terms of the message we were sending.”
Five months have passed and it looks like the Tiger-Cats’ CEO may be missing the mark again.
Manziel has been accused of domestic violence, has openly abused alcohol and drugs, sometimes even through his own social media and was even seen at a Las Vegas nightclub sporting a fake moustache, wig and glasses the night before skipping his concussion protocol in Cleveland, according to ESPN Las Vegas.
This doesn’t sound like the way to make it up to a community after a “poor decision.”
On Good Morning America, Manziel also stated the end goal of his comeback is an NFL contract, confirming the CFL would just be a stop along the way. It’s not worth it for the team to take such a risk on a player who publicly said he has no intentions of staying long in the league, if he even comes at all.
Manziel said earlier this month he is no longer drinking alcohol and is making mental health a priority in his life. He also says he’s taking medication for bipolar and is working hard to make sure he doesn’t fall into another depression.
His father said in 2016, he’d be surprised if his son makes it to his 25th birthday. While the sporting world was glad to see Manziel surpass that in December, there would be nothing better than to see him complete his comeback.
Just somewhere outside Hamilton.