On the heels of Larry Johnson’s offensive comments and apology, we have heard from LJ (through his agent) and the Chiefs (through the official website). This morning, The Kansas City Star’s Kent Babb catches up with the person impacted by this situation almost as much as LJ: Larry Johnson Sr.
Larry Johnson Sr. said that he vowed so many years ago that he would teach his children to treat everyone with compassion. He said he raised them to consider everyone equal, regardless of race, gender, beliefs or sexual orientation. He said it hurts that his son, Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, used gay slurs in public two times in 24 hours.
“That’s just not who we are and not what we believe. It’s not how he was raised. It’s tough for me as a father.”
He said young Larry learned that hateful or inappropriate words are “just not tolerated.”
Johnson’s father was his role model, and he said his son’s words didn’t match what he was taught. Johnson Sr., the defensive line coach at Penn State University, was raised in Williamston, N.C., and he remembers the segregated water fountains and the split schools.
He said that his son is not homophobic and that he was raised with an emphasis on equality.
“He does not hate gays. That’s not Larry, and that’s not our family,” he said. “He’s my son. You can’t disown him. We just talk to him, listen to him, and help him move forward.”
I hope he talks to his son at length and finally helps him get his life straightened out. Multiple arrests and narrowly avoiding jail didn’t do it, but maybe this new negative situation can eventually be turned into something positive for Larry.
His father also said LJ wants to be a Kansas City Chief. If you’ll remember, LJ was saying that during the preseason when he was still looking to collect a big paycheck. Once he got that money guaranteed and things went south he started spouting off against the franchise. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it and hopefully Scott Pioli and Todd Haley don’t either.
It’s time to move on and see what Jamaal Charles, Dantrell Savage and Kolby Smith can do.