Larry Johnson audio isn't completely clear

It’s undisputed that Chiefs running back Larry Johnson used a three-letter homophobic epithet on Twitter after Sunday’s 30-point loss to the Chargers.

As to whether he used the six-letter version of that same term in the locker room on Monday, well, it’s not quite as clear.

Here’s the audio, thanks to the Kansas City Star.  As the Star explains, it took the audio from a hand-held tape recorder and professionally enhanced it.

But even with the enhancements, it’s not completely clear (in our view) that Johnson said what he allegedly said.

Given that Johnson’s apology from Tuesday was so general and vague, it’s also unclear whether he has admitted to using the term. 

The problem is that we’re all predisposed to think that Johnson said “get your faggot ass out of here”; thus, our ears are hearing the words through that prism.  We’d be interested to know what someone who doesn’t know about the situation believes that Johnson says.

And, frankly, the first question a neutral observer might have upon listening to the tape is whether the person speaking is James Earl Jones in his Darth Vader voice.

None of this changes the fact that Johnson said what he said on Twitter.  So we’re not sure the locker-room incident really matters. 

Still, we expected a smoking gun.  This is more like a glove that may or may not fit.

14 responses to “Larry Johnson audio isn't completely clear

  1. Yeah, people hear what they want to hear sometimes. As I read this article the radio started to play, “Blinded by the light… Wrapped up like a douche in the middle of the night”
    Followed by “Hold me closer Tony Danza”

  2. This suspension isn’t just about whether Larry used derogatory and homophobic terms–so let’s not focus so much on that. It’s also about slamming and calling out his coach. It might be different if this was Adrian Peterson making the comments about Todd Haley, but it’s not. The comments were made by a running back whose best days are far behind him and a lowlife thug who spits on and assaults women. He’s in same mold as Pac-Man. The Chiefs can’t get rid of this jerk quick enough.

  3. I think I heard it as reported, and then my wife listened and said absolutely no way. She had no idea what was supposed to be on there, and even after I told her, she said she didn’t think he said that.
    just my 2 cents. Don’t care about LJ either way.

  4. Come on Florio. I know your a lawyer but this is a stretch even for an ambulance chaser like yourself.
    You said in your own report here that this audio had been enhanced. Thus, the voice sounds similar to “James Earl Jones”. Give me a break. This is 100% proof that LJ said this. To try and defend him by saying it is inconclusive at best is absolute insanity.
    However, I will defend him by saying…”Who cares???” The guy said “fag”. Oh quick somebody call the cops.
    How about everyone who is so concerned about “homo” slurs and “hotdog” eating on the sideline, go put on a new skirt and get out of our NFL once and for all.

  5. I just listened to the audio and there is no doubt in my mind that he said what was alleged. I’ve heard that term a million times on the basketball court (note, in jest, people aren’t so P.C. in my area, but they are not hateful folks), and its the same. Its really just a single “term” (f*ggt-a**).
    I doubt he meant it maliciously, its used in the same manner as “douchebag”, but again, there is no doubt in my mind that that’s what he said. He probably should have just kept his mouth shut

  6. It’s amazing, everytime I watch a football game on Fox Troy Aikman says my name followed by “throws his 8th TD of the game”
    I guess that is hearing what you want to hear?

  7. Add to it that I heard the Rolling Stones, “don’t want to be your piz-za burnin'”
    I had to listen to it at least 10 times and still wasn’t sure. Could’ve been “git yur ass outta here.”
    If it don’t fit, you must acquit!

  8. “Kill the fathead” with a ghost in the background whispering “Wow”.
    The KC Star needs to hookup with the paranormal investigators.

  9. “our ears are hearing the words through that prism.”-Florio
    Prizms alter the way light appears. Nobody hears through a prism.

  10. Again, it’s not about the “fag” comments. It’s about the Chiefs being fed up with Johnson’s off-field actions (and on-field inaction). He’s been in and out of court, he’s had to apologize for stupid behavior more times than you can count. This is a suspension that’s been building over time and not simply because he called someone a fag.

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