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Chad Johnson was convicted of domestic battery in 2000

Chad Johnson AP

During his 12 years in the NFL, Chad Johnson has cultivated an image of a troublemaker, but a playful one — a class clown, not a bully. So when Johnson was arrested over the weekend for domestic violence, it seemed out of character.

But it may have been less out of character than we realized: Johnson already has a domestic battery conviction on his record, as he was arrested for hitting his girlfriend in 2000 and later pleaded no contest, according to TMZ.

At the time of the previous domestic violence incident, Johnson was 22 years old and about to start his football career at Oregon State. He was able to work out a deal in which he avoided jail time but would have to spend 30 days cleaning up graffiti, along with serving three years of probation, getting counseling and staying 100 yards away from the victim. Johnson later had more time added to his community service requirements because he didn’t complete them in a timely manner, and he didn’t finish the graffiti cleanup or the counseling until 2002, when he was with the Bengals.

It’s surprising that the previous domestic violence conviction hasn’t been widely reported: With all the media attention surrounding Johnson through the years, both positive and negative, this incident has been almost totally overlooked. Johnson’s recent arrest puts that prior incident in a new light.

UPDATE 8:15 a.m. ET:  A media source points out that Johnson acknowledged the 2000 incident in his 2006 book, Chad:  I Can’t Be Stopped.  So this really isn’t new.  It’s just newly relevant.

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41 Responses to “Chad Johnson was convicted of domestic battery in 2000”
  1. joetoronto says: Aug 14, 2012 7:05 AM

    Flush the turd and flush it now, Roger.

  2. ravenmuscle says: Aug 14, 2012 7:09 AM

    Just real happy Miami dumped him and his reality TV show was cancelled. Garbage like him should be in jail…not making money from NFL teams OR TV networks. “Hopefully” some bank will come after him now and he’ll have to file for bankrupcy.

    When these clowns can’t earn a “quick” buck from the NFL, we find out who they really are. Basically they are women beaters and pretty stupid. What were Johnson’s IQ and what were his grades in college?

  3. lgw91s says: Aug 14, 2012 7:10 AM

    And with that little tidbit, the door slams shut.

  4. ttgb2 says: Aug 14, 2012 7:11 AM

    So I guess “Never been arrested” wasn’t ever true, huh?

  5. pftcensorssuck says: Aug 14, 2012 7:12 AM

    What do all you “This is out of character” defenders have to say NOW??????????

  6. floriosfuglykid says: Aug 14, 2012 7:16 AM

    Yeah, we all bought into the ‘harmless clown’ routine. Looks like we were the chumps. He’s just another violent, wife/gf beater.

    Goodbye Chad … hope we never see you again. Creep.

  7. qdog112 says: Aug 14, 2012 7:18 AM

    “At the time of the previous domestic violence incident, Johnson was 22 years old and about to start his football career at Oregon State. ”
    **************************************
    Not that I question the accuracy of your piece, but you’re saying that he started (about to start) his freshman year at age 22 and most of us did that at age 18.

    If you are going to have people read your stuff and rely on it as factual, try being, well factual. Do the math. Do you get penalized for being wrong or are the standards too low for that?

    Michael David Smith: Thanks for the lecture on accuracy. Johnson didn’t graduate from high school until he was 19, then bounced around junior colleges before finally getting a scholarship to Oregon State when he was 22.

  8. jvm310 says: Aug 14, 2012 7:30 AM

    And lost in all of this is why was the guy buying a box of condoms? Obviosly he and his wife were not using them. Not one reporter seems to investigate this. The miami media is a joke.

  9. ascensionparish says: Aug 14, 2012 7:33 AM

    What I would say is that it doesn’t look good for Johnson.

    But in America, a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

  10. thisisether says: Aug 14, 2012 7:33 AM

    You dummies. That was 12 years ago…An entire decade ago. His entire NFL career he had no run-ins and now he is a known woman beater for something he was convicted of in college? Guys,go home and take care of your families…

  11. tombrookshire says: Aug 14, 2012 7:37 AM

    Well, of course, because the NFL does a good job of covering up this stuff so that it’s image doesn’t get tarnished which will cost them, perish the thought, money. Why are NFL players allowed to skate on almost all offenses other than first degree murder (wait a minute, Ray Lewis skated on first degree murder)?

  12. barrywhererufrom says: Aug 14, 2012 7:38 AM

    Too many excuses for unexcusable behavior..somehow roger goodell will get blamed for being too tough..we love making excuses for people who dont do the right thing in their lives..and i am not just talking about sports

  13. skinsfan91 says: Aug 14, 2012 7:39 AM

    What a false punk.

  14. fuddpucker says: Aug 14, 2012 7:41 AM

    It’s our fault, we herald these football players like they’re Kings, but they’re only the paupers’ fools.

  15. fdugrad says: Aug 14, 2012 7:41 AM

    As the days pass and more information comes bubbling to the surface, Chad has become THE measuring stick/”Mendoza line” for the arrogant, placated, enabled, detached from the real world, and ignorant professional athlete. In spite of his last year’s lack of production due mainly to his inability to grasp the playbook after a LIFETIME of playing organized football, his past childish behaviors, and advancing age, he continued to make absolutely NO significant changes in his approach to his job. The “cherry on the top” came yesterday when it was reported that not one PENNY of his almost one million dollar salary was guaranteed!! When he, probably sooner than later files for bankruptcy, will Chad have a moment of enlightenment finally? One wonders.

  16. jagsfan1 says: Aug 14, 2012 7:44 AM

    This overrated loser has been on the fast track to bankruptcy for years now…

    It will be fun to watch his whole world cave in.

    This loser will be so broke in 3 mos that he will be calling TO and asking for money.

    Child – PLEASE

  17. hugejazz says: Aug 14, 2012 7:47 AM

    Can we PLEASE move on from Chad Eight Five? The guy has been running on fame vapors for several years now because he can’t really play the game. Unless it’s school yard throw and go.

  18. steelerslakersyankeesnascargolf says: Aug 14, 2012 8:00 AM

    I still like him for some reason.

  19. jayquintana says: Aug 14, 2012 8:10 AM

    Even if this was “out of character,” so what? Headbutting another human being just once is bad enough.

  20. ottomanismydog says: Aug 14, 2012 8:13 AM

    Send him and Chris Brown to jail

  21. ebrownwareagle says: Aug 14, 2012 8:18 AM

    That’s was before the dawn of Twitter and Facebook. And the ever so popular Camera phone. When you keep your nose clean for a decade plus, no arrest in the league until now. One can see how no red flags were raised. The problem in our society is we are to Emotional when it comes to sports and athletes. We want to on the players and expect them not to be human and make mistakes on or off the field. That’s not going to happen. Now, the severity of the mistake is the question. Its just sport people. Watch the games and enjoy them. Stop equated someone’s talents with there personality. “oh he’s a nice guy” so he’s good player when in fact he could be terrible or since he is an anus, he sucks. Don’t know who was at fault that night nor do I care. But I do know this, for all the naysayers that say he sucks and shouldn’t be in the league. Your so wrong. He may not be a top 10 WR or in the top 20-25. But there are 32 teams in the NFL with 3-4 some teams 5 WR sets. There are not 96 or more that are better than this man. i.e the Miami Dolphins don’t have not one(double negative) thats better. And a few other teams.

  22. jpb12 says: Aug 14, 2012 8:19 AM

    Funny how these guys avoid contact on the field

  23. scoopandslam says: Aug 14, 2012 8:22 AM

    Why do so many readers of ProFootballTalk hate pro football players SO much?

  24. charmcity17 says: Aug 14, 2012 8:25 AM

    Time to “kiss the baby”…

  25. fdugrad says: Aug 14, 2012 8:37 AM

    ebrownwareagle: Proofread much?

  26. tlmoon2112 says: Aug 14, 2012 8:39 AM

    Can you take T.O. out the door with you as you leave please Chad?? Thanks!

  27. ytsejamer1 says: Aug 14, 2012 8:44 AM

    Well, shame on me. I was one of the ones “duped”. Oh well…whether he did something in college as a stupid kid or not – what he did a couple days ago is in poor form and there’s no way around it.

    I hope he can get his stuff together because somewhere under the nonsense, I think the guy has a good heart. *sigh*

  28. thelastpieceofcheese says: Aug 14, 2012 8:53 AM

    Karlos Dansby and those that agreed with him look like the fools they are!

  29. orthomarine says: Aug 14, 2012 9:31 AM

    @thelast

    I agree; Karlos… its your turn now… man enough to speak out against your coach are you man enough to admit you were wrong

  30. jericoc says: Aug 14, 2012 9:39 AM

    Of course his salary wasn’t guaranteed; it was a one-year $1M free-agent signing. I’d be surprised if Chad had to “[file] for bankruptcy”, since he had been ridiculously frugal during his earning years. Some of you guys need to go back to your “Mad Men”, “Ice Road Truckers”, and “Glee” forums and leave the football talk to actual football fans …

  31. grillmarks says: Aug 14, 2012 10:03 AM

    I used to be a huge fan of the NFL. That’s changed in the last 3 years or so. I began to realize most of these players are egotistical, entitled, selfish, prima donna d bags with no regard for anyone but themselves.

    This guy is the poster boy.

  32. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Aug 14, 2012 10:03 AM

    Babies, not men. Go to work!

  33. bennyb82 says: Aug 14, 2012 10:24 AM

    There is still a big difference between being labeled a wife beater and what probably transpired. If you saw what Chris Brown did to Rhianna, THAT is a wife beater. I think Chad makes poor choices that puts him in a bad position where he reacts in a bad way. I am not saying he shouldve done it (if he did), but something tells me this girl has hit a lot of people in her life.

  34. descendency says: Aug 14, 2012 10:51 AM

    This does surprise me. Obviously, there were obvious signs that pointed towards Chad being volatile enough to cause trouble (fight) with others, but his entire NFL career has been him acting like a clown and donating money to charity.

    It’s definitely time he cleans up his act, though. And maybe the only way to do that is to spend some time outside of the NFL.

  35. canilive2000 says: Aug 14, 2012 11:07 AM

    Since when does slapping a girl in college over a decade ago institute a history of domestic violence?

    Stop using this forum to sensationalize stories by delivering potentially misleading information. Reading the title to this article, I think Profootballtalk uncovered a history of domestic abuse by Chad Johnson, and reading it I would be led to believe so – but clicking the link, for some reason you left this part out

    “Sources close to the case tell us the victim was his GF at the time … and she told police the football star had slapped her in the face after he accused her of cheating on him.

    According to court records, Johnson — 22 years old at the time — pled no contest … and the court found him guilty of domestic battery. ”

    That does not sound like a history of domestic violence in the format that you are trying to lead us to believe….

  36. naturalandjacked says: Aug 14, 2012 11:44 AM

    You guys really wish for the downfall of a man?? Say’s more about our society today than it says anything about Chad. Oh yeah….. I’m sure you have never done anything you weren’t proud of, but if you do one day, I’m sure you’d want people “get off thier high horse” for you. #GlassHouse

  37. oriolesvsravens says: Aug 14, 2012 12:14 PM

    If you have a a lot of arrest during your career the NFL can reform you, i.e. Pacman, Kenny Britt, Donte Stallworth. If you’re a nuisance, TO, Ocho, you cannot afford to have any off the field altercations or you’re done.

  38. sportmentary says: Aug 14, 2012 12:59 PM

    This is why I said it was a good move. Didn’t know about the previous incident and wasn’t prepared to find him guilty or innocent yet.

    I think we now can see that the Dolphins had more info than others did. They were right to dump him. At the time, I said it was the right thing to do because at the very least he had put himself in a bad position and should have removed himself from it when things started to get really heated.

    Looks like we can stick a fork in his NFL career!

  39. cowboyz4life says: Aug 14, 2012 1:12 PM

    So on a scale of Chris Brown to James Holmes how mad are you guys at ocho??

  40. cbonix says: Aug 15, 2012 12:17 PM

    Chad has a documented and undocumented history of domestic violence. Bad choices in anger or not, he needs help. I have an acquaintance that dated him in Cincinnati for awhile. The reason she left the relationship was because of the physical abuse. Deep down he has goodness in him and for awhile now has been doing well with his issues, but a woman with HER OWN violent tendencies, Evelyn Lozado, doesn’t help. Sad to say I saw this happening…just not so soon. I hope he can get his life together.

  41. mwindle1973 says: Aug 15, 2012 6:31 PM

    I’m a big Chad fan…but there is this 200 incident, and the 2005 incident in the Bengals locker room with his self-claimed “father” figures Hue Jackson & Marvin Lewis. So it’s probable Chad has a problem here with inter-personal relationships. I hope he gets help, and can find some peace and get back in the NFL. I know he can play much better than he has the last 4 seasons.

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