What a Non-Fan Thinks about Fan Punched by Manziel Entourage
This is a little bit of an opinion piece...
Anyone who knows me as a sports fan knows that I'm not a fan of Cleveland Browns backup rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel. So far he seems to be the opposite of the things I admire in athletes. When it comes to sports figures, I'm more a Tim Duncan or Jason Witten kind of fan - I appreciate the more humble, seemingly kind, no-drama kind of athletes who show their love for the game by focusing on working hard, being solid and reliable and building up their teams instead of themselves.
Since I saw him playing for Texas A&M, Johnny Manziel seems to have been building himself up more as one of those celebrity-athletes who care more about their exposure and reputation than team-building. I'll freely admit that I don't know him personally and could be wrong, but so far that's the attitude that he has projected out into the world. I was relieved when the Cowboys narrowly avoided what I think would have been a disastrous draft pick of Manziel this season. I also really hate that his nickname is "Johnny Football." He doesn't represent my type of football. Let's just leave it at that for now.
The point is that I did not feel very surprised when I saw in the headlines that Manziel was involved in some kind of scandal having to do with violence against a fan. My first thought was, "That just figures." The attached link goes to the story details in Yahoo News. Basically, what happened seems to be that a fan tried to approach Manziel for a hug or something like it at an apartment complex:
"Cleveland police were reportedly called at 2:36 a.m. early Saturday to the scene of a fight that involved 20 men and two security guards at The 9, a high-end apartment complex in Cleveland where many pro athletes live, according to CleveScene.com. According to CleveScene, citing the police report, 33-year-old Chris Gonos of Sandusky saw Manziel, wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, and his friends waiting for an elevator. Gonos pointed Manziel out to his girlfriend. CleveScene said according to the report, "at this time victim stated to the unidentified male, 'I'm the biggest Browns fan ever, I love you, I want to give you a hug.'""
Not surprisingly, this did not go well for him. Yahoo News continues:
"Then, CleveScene.com wrote, citing the police report, Gonos took one step toward Manziel and was struck several times in the face by "the offender," a man with Manziel named Kirk. The police report, which CleveScene published parts of, said the man with Manziel named Kirk stated to police that "the victim attempted to assault his client and he defended him."
The initial story, based on the police report, did not say that Manziel did anything at all during the fight. After that the man was given a "beat down" by the group Manziel was with, giving Gonos a "swollen lip, right eye swollen, red face.""
The story from one side is that Manziel didn't get involved in the fight, just that guy from his entourage. That doesn't seem to be what the victims are saying - but the situation is still under investigation.
My surprising opinion at this point is that even though I don't like Manziel and think his entourage (which he should have some effect on) went too far in reacting to this fan - it may come down to the fact that the fan should have known better than try to have uninvited physical contact with a stranger, let alone a famous athlete with an entourage who is a stranger. I still don't think this says much for the general attitude that surrounds him, but in this case maybe we need to not place the larger part of the blame on him.
Maybe I'll change my mind in the future when more details come out - but that's my opinion for now!