Troubled NFL star Chad Johnson appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” this week and answered some tough questions regarding his failed married and arrest for domestic violence.
The athlete formerly known as Ochocinco talked with show hosts Cari Champion, Stephen A. Smith, and Skip Bayless, and was very candidly took ownership of the mistakes he has made.
“I messed up. I messed up. Period,” Johnson admitted. “I lost everything. Football, my wife, the family I had, over something that didn’t really mean anything. I lost that edge when my focus went away from the game of football. I know that. I understand that.”
The 34-year-old wide receiver was married to reality TV personality Evelyn Lozada, but the marriage ended less than a month after their Independence Day nuptials when Johnson head-butted the “Basketball Wives” star during an argument over infidelity.
Johnson confirmed that Lozada’s claims were all true and that the domestic drama was a result of him cheating. “That’s where everything stemmed from,” he confessed.
“There was a domestic dispute, for one, which was all my fault, because I’m living life the way it shouldn’t be lived,” he continued. “[That’s] why I lost everything I did. It is what it is. I made the bed, I’m laying in it. I paid the price for what I did wrong.”
The former Cincinnati Bengal player acknowledged that his behavior with his ex-wife was “poor judgment” and shared that he has been getting the necessary counseling he needs.
“What happened was a mistake. That’s what happened. A mistake that I’ve continuously apologized for with the people that I’ve hurt, including my wife. I think me continuing to say ‘sorry’ sort of drowns it out,” she expressed.
Appearing compassionate and full of contrition, Johnson emphasized that he has “accepted responsibility” for his actions, “especially with her.”
The former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant still refers to Lozada as his “wife,” and declared he’s still fighting to repair that relationship despite their divorce being finalized in September.
During the interview Johnson also confirmed that this was not his first time getting in trouble for domestic violence. He did however state that he clearly understands that domestic violence against women is “wrong.”
“My stance is it’s wrong. It’s wrong. It’s common sense, but I’ve made mistakes. Don’t crucify me because we all sin differently,” he offered.
As far as his NFL career is concerned, Johnson is optimistic.
“I’m going to play again,” he vowed. “If I don’t, I am fine with walking away. I don’t have a choice.”
He was dropped from the Miami Dolphins the day after his domestic violence arrest and his termination was featured on the HBO series, “Hard Knocks.”
VIDEO: Watch Chad Johnson’s appearance ESPN’s “First Take” below.
Chad Johnson: History of Domestic Violence Uncovered