Why Johnny Manziel Isn’t Just Young and Immature

NATASHA GEIGER | SPORTS EDITOR

I am by no means a psychiatrist or a behavioral analyst, nor am I attempting to provide an overarching answer to Manziel’s recent problems. I’m simply being the devil’s advocate to a subject of which I’ve seen far too much.

Johnny Manziel. A name we’ve all heard and seen; unfortunately, as of late, Manziel has been frequenting the news for drug abuse, alcohol abuse and domestic violence.

Whether you’re an avid sports fan or someone that frequents any internet homepage, you’ve noticed what Manziel has been up to. Truthfully, he’s been up to everything but playing professional football with the Cleveland Browns.

Manziel has been running into the law since June 2012, shortly after he was chosen as Texas A&M’s starting quarterback and continued well into 2013, both in and out of season.  After being taken with pick number 22 by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, he seemed to be doing better. While he didn’t play well, he wasn’t getting in trouble. That changed in 2015.

Stardom is a double-edged sword for some athletes, and being a star can become too much for some athletes. I’m certainly not giving excuses for Manziel, but we must look at his situation in a different light. As Manziel got deeper into his NFL career, he delved deeper into personal trouble.

The entirety of 2015 was cursed for Johnny Manziel. He displayed a clear dependence on alcohol, and domestic violence followed. His professional career also suffered. He was bumped down to third string quarterback in the beginning of the 2015-16 season.

As I stated before, though, I by no means am a psychologist that is able to define certain levels and severities of alcoholism. Throughout my time following the news of Manziel this offseason, however, I continue to read comments about how Manziel is “a real joke”or “if he’s not causing trouble, trouble will find him.” Certainly people have been playing off of the idea that Manziel is taking advantage of his stardom or that he’s just a young jock not talking his profession serious.

In calling Manziel “a piece of trash,” people are judging him at face value, this face value being that he is young, immature and taking advantage of his stardom. Yet we notice one steady action by Manziel: dependency-like alcohol consumption.  Alcoholism is a serious disease that can create many other problems, including domestic abuse. But, again, who am I to say whether he was drinking heavily during or before many of these allegations or whether or not alcohol caused his violent uproar?

The only person to know the answer to that is Johnny Manziel himself. But for people to judge Manziel’s behavior solely based on his status as a young, money-hungry, male athlete is unfair and wrong.

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