Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday that he’s learned his “lesson” after spending seven days in jail and thinks “everyone deserves a second chance.”
The 35-year-old was released from jail on Monday after he apologized to Broward County Judge Kathleen McHugh for slapping his attorney Adam Swickle on the rear in court last week. McHugh had sentenced Johnson to 30 days in jail, rejecting his plea agreement for a probation violation after he tapped his attorney on the backside, prompting the courtroom to erupt in laughter.
“I’ve learned my lesson, especially over those past seven days,” he said via ESPN.com. “I think everyone deserves a second chance. Many would say I might not deserve it. I would like to finish my career off the right way.”
Johnson said when McHugh saw him tap his attorney on the rear it was the third time he had done so that day. Johnson said going to jail was “one of the best things that could happen.”
“I think that Judge McHugh was able to get me do something many people have tried to get me to do for a long time: slow down, just at life in general,” Johnson said.” “She was able to get me to do that, maybe not in the best circumstances for those on the outside but I see being able to sit down and think about life and where I’m going from this point was probably on one of the best things that could happen to me right now.”
McHugh ordered Johnson to perform 25 hours of community service and attend domestic violence counseling training sessions twice a week during probation, which was extended an extra three months through mid-October.
“I think with me being Chad it kind of made the judge feel that I wasn’t being serious about the situation but, trust me, I understood exactly what I did,” Johnson said. “I lost two of the things in life that I love the most at the time. Football and my now beautiful, I did say beautiful, ex-wife.”
“I don’t want the last thing to be remembered you know, well, Chad was cut from the Dolphins for an incident he had with his wife,” Johnson said. “I would love to grace the football field one more time and to help some team. I’m not injured. There’s nothing wrong with me.”