Current and former NFL players who appear on radio gradually are learning that their words don’t evaporate into the ether. They linger — and they can have consequences.
Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson witnessed that reality on Friday. He’ll likely witness it again, if/when he encounters Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork in person.
A caller to SportsRadio 610 in Houston asked Johnson, who works with the station, to name his teammate with the ugliest wife.
“You know what? I got it. This is a big, big man. And this guy had his way with the Texans this year,” Johnson said, MyFOXBoston.com. “He won’t hear this. Vince Wilfork.”
Well, Wilfork heard it.
“Your [sic] barking up the wrong tree I hear and see everything mother f–ker,” Wilfork said in a tweet directed to Johnson, via TheBigLead. Wilfork later posted an image of a longer message sent directly to Johnson.
“Every1 is entitled to their own opinion but it is f–ked up when a x-teammate that I actually looked up to and enjoyed playing with takes shots at my wife for whatever reasons,” Wilfork said. “I love my wife and my family. She is my everything. I don’t care when this was said no one should cross that line. The line has been crossed so it is what it is. All I wann [sic] say is f–k you! You don’t want to f–k with me or my family. Take shots at me all day but not them. I have a great family life and blessed to have them.”
Johnson has apologized via Twitter. “I just made a huge error in judgment and want to apologize to Vince and his wife for comments I made earlier today on a Houston radio show,” Johnson said. “Vince and his family are outstanding people who I have admired since they arrived in NE. I learned a big lesson today and feel terrible.”
Apart from Johnson’s initial blunder, everyone involved did the right thing. We admire Wilfork for zealously defending his wife, Bianca. He should have. And we respect Johnson for apologizing. He needed to.
And we’ve got a feeling neither Johnson nor any other current or former player will be answering that question ever again, in any setting.