Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is apparently incapable of going more than a few weeks without a video of him drinking and rapping along to a Future song appearing on the internet.
This video was posted to the social media app Yeti over the weekend, and it shows Manziel in a Christmas sweater, holding a Four Loko while singing along to “March Madness” and dabbing. Given these circumstances, the “videos can be old” defense doesn’t really hold up.
Browns head coach Mike Pettine addressed the clip on Monday, and seemed to be going out of his way to say as little as possible. From ESPN:
“Any time there’s something with our players that casts them potentially in a bad light, whether it’s Johnny or any of our other guys, it’s certainly a concern,” Pettine said Monday before he had seen the video. “I’m sure I’ll see it and have a discussion with him about it.
“These circumstances are different from the incident that occurred before. I’m just not going to go into a ton of detail with it until I get a little bit more information about it, but it’s something that I’m sure privately we’ll discuss if it needs to be discussed.”
That’s quite a bit of soft-pedaling from a guy who not only benched Manziel the last time a video like this surfaced, but also promised “harsh” repercussions if Manziel were to make another misstep. Reporters went on to ask Pettine how the team felt about Manziel being so public about his drinking, and Pettine said he doesn’t want to be “micromanaging the personal lives” of his players.
Under normal circumstances, that’s not at all a strange thing for a coach to say about one of his players, but Manziel spent 73 days in rehab. When someone who clearly has a problem with alcohol can’t go a month without being filmed with a drink in his hand, that’s a real issue.
So why is Pettine just waving his hands at the whole thing? It probably has a lot more to do with the circumstances of his job than any personal feelings for Manziel. Pettine kept Manziel on the bench for as long as possible, and would probably like nothing more than to send him back there, but Johnny Football is the last quarterback standing in Cleveland, and Pettine doesn’t need to head into the last week of the season with a real controversy—he’s been purposely avoiding words like “alcoholic” and “alcoholism” throughout this mess—hanging over his head. That’s how “harsh” repercussions become a private conversation, and how ignoring a guy’s problem with alcohol becomes not wanting to “micromanage.” Such is life with the Browns.