You can bet the story about Florida State football recruit De’Andre Johnson will be front and center at our dinner table tonight. It’s a story about the choices we make, particularly those made in a split-second and possibly under the influence of alcohol, that can completely unravel a lifetime’s worth of planning, preparation and dreams of a bright future.
A short synopsis of the situation: Surveillance Video from a Florida bar shows Johnson and the unidentified woman exchanging words as they both struggle to get a seat at the bar. The woman raises her fist like she’s going to hit Johnson, he grabs her arms, she knees him in the groin, then punches him in the face, at which point he punches her back. Witnesses say the woman also fired some racial slurs at Johnson during the altercation.
The result? Johnson – who was named Florida’s “Mr. Football” for 2014 – was kicked off the Florida State team, kicked out of school and is now participating in community service focused on battered women.
The woman involved is also a Florida State student. I would argue that she suffer the same fate as Johnson. After all, she was not only an equal partner in the scuffle, but also appears to have started at least the physical part of this altercation. And if the school does not suspend her, you can bet she’s going to feel some blacklash from a lot of students on campus. It’s a sad story on both sides, but a great starter for a conversation for families with teens.