Bengals cornerback Adam Jones had an eventful day. After multiple years of staying out of trouble, trouble found Jones in the form of an assault charge against a woman outside a Cincinnati bar.
Jones joined ESPN 1530 by phone after being released from custody to tell his side of the story.
But Jones, based on the interview, apparently wanted to explain himself without being questioned. He called the surveillance video “self-explanatory,” and Jones said he was struck with a bottle and was merely “defending” himself.
“I didn’t draw back and swing and hit her with my right hand,” Jones said. “It was just a quick reaction.”
Once the questioning began from host Mo Egger, Jones became reluctant and careful. Jones didn’t want to talk, for example, about what the woman said before she (based on the video) stuck something in his face.
“I’m not gonna get into each piece by piece,” Jones said. “My point was coming on here just to let people know, like, I’m not out acting a fool. I’m not out drinking, getting drunk. All I was doing was protecting myself, man. I wouldn’t like to harm no woman, period. I have two beautiful little girls and a wife at home [and] my mother. Most of my family are all women, I don’t even had a dad. That’s not Adam. That’s no part. I’m not into that, and I don’t condone that. So I don’t want you to try to tweak it and make it sound any other way. All I was doing was protecting myself and trying to clear my space.”
Eventually, the call dropped after Egger asked if Jones suffered any cuts or marks from being struck — with the signal failing because of a bad cell or a dead battery or Jones hitting the “end” button.
Egger then opined that Jones’ actions based on the video don’t seem to be justified by the circumstances. It’s hard to disagree, given that Jones merely needed to step back from a barrier outside the bar, which would have prevented the woman from continuing to do whatever she was doing. There was no need to strike the woman; at most, Jones should have knocked her arm away while also stepping away.
Moving forward, Jones’ best move could be to say nothing more to anyone until the matter is resolved. Apart from the pending criminal charges, his NFL career could soon be encountering another rough patch, given his history of off-field issues.
And while we truly believe Jones has turned his life around, the best way to avoid problems is to avoid situations in which problems could arise. Hanging out at bars inevitably puts you in the presence of people who are drunk and who may be inclined to instigate an incident. Players with an extensive history of charges and suspension aren’t likely to get the benefit of the doubt — especially when the video evidence isn’t as helpful as the player thinks it is.