Over the course of his strange 2015 season, Johnny Manziel has been involved in numerous incidents running from the absurd to the troubling, and often both at the same time. For someone who promised before the season to stay clean after spending time in a rehab facility, he’s sure been connected with alcohol a lot.
And for all the jokes we’ve made at Johnny’s expense, there is an undeniably concerning element to them. LeBron James owns marketing firm LRMR, which counts Manziel as a client, and was asked to weigh in on the Browns (for now) QB’s situation. After saying he was more concerned for Manziel personally than professionally, LeBron called the problems “a distraction for not only himself, but for everyone that’s around him including family, people that represent him, the people that are around him. And he’ll figure it out at some point. We all hope.”
LeBron gets asked about so many things on a daily basis that it’s understandable he couldn’t muster more than a boilerplate response. But New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who struggled with mental health issues early in his career before taking control and becoming one of the NFL’s best and most outspoken activists for mental health, had far more emotional words for Manziel.
“Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. This is a serious topic,” Marshall said. “Well, first, you’ve got to forget about football, sir. You need to go get your life together. And to be quite frank, I don’t think you get it. You don’t understand. You’re ruining a very, very special opportunity. It’s an honor to be in the NFL.
“There is a thing out there called divine mentorship, where you can learn from others’ mistakes. He has the opportunity to really sit back and reflect on his situation, look at others, and learn from it and be better.”
Both Marshall and James are players to whom Manziel should look up, but with all due respect to LeBron, Manziel’s branding isn’t the issue, nor is it being “distracted.” If he wants to have a future in the NFL, he needs to be concerned about improving on a personal level before he can worry about his profession.