Raiders, CHRIS JOHNSON

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CHRIS JOHNSON

Amps – How did you feel when you first got drafted?
Chris – It was a dream come true, out of all the things that I’ve accomplished throughout my high school and college career as an athlete. That’s your prime goal to be able to succeed in the field that you are in whether it is football, basketball, or whatever you’re trying to do. It was a blessed day and a dream come true.

Amps – So are you really from Longview, Texas?
Chris – Yes, I am.

Amps – How did you end up playing for the Baltimore Ravens again?Chris Johnson
Chris – Previous years when I was with the Ravens, they wanted me to play with them. They tried to trade for me in 2010, but the owner of the Ravens didn’t want to trade me at the time, plus they were trying to get a first and second round draft pick in the trade and Baltimore was willing to give a second but didn’t want to give a first. I knew the organization wanted me but at the same time I didn’t know how I was going to get there. In 2011, a situation came to where I lost my sister and it was a lot of bad memories on the West Cost and I didn’t want to be out there anymore and I told them to release me in December and they granted me that release. I called Isaac Newton, who is the General Manager for Baltimore, in October and it was an injured situation to where two of their corner backs went down. They needed some veteran leadership on the team. They gave me a call on November 12 and they signed me November 13.

Amps – Coming from a small town in East Texas to being drafted in the NFL, how did that change your life?
Chris – Sometimes people say when you live in a small town you can’t make it out, but the town doesn’t make who you are. You have no control over your environment and where you were born and raised, but you are in control of who you are. That’s how I look at it: being a top athlete out of East Texas, I knew as a child what I wanted to do as an adult, and there are other small towns around East Texas other than Longview. I didn’t let anyone alternate my plans or my dreams. Even though I had to go a different route then certain people that made it to the NFL, but to me if you work hard on what you are trying to do and how you do it, you’ll appreciate it a lot more. I always tell kids when I speak to them, that I came in through the back door and a lot of guys that get drafted come through the front door. They don’t have that momentum and the hunger that I have had in the last ten years.

Amps – How often do you speak to the youth?
Chris – Whenever someone calls me. I just talked to some youths at my wife’s high school. They had sixty girls and sixty guys, but in two different auditoriums. Some of these schools actually benefiting for trying to help as far as troubled kids. When I {was} going to school, they would just kick you out and just wash their hands on you, but some of these schools are actually sitting down and trying to save these kids before they actually touch the streets. So, I went and talked to sixty young men about doing the right thing and how important it is being dedicated to their school work. I don’t expect to get through to every kid that I talk to but if I could get through to at least one or two out of the bunch, and if I do that out of each school that I speak with, then I’m doing what God called me to do because, you can’t save everyone that you encounter with, but as long as you touch one or two people that you talk to on a daily or a monthly basics and out of that month you’ve saved three or four people. Well, I just think that’s a job well done.

Amps – What else do you have going on?
Chris – My biggest thing right now is speaking to kids. I went to Houston to speak at a prison’s Christian ministry [for]a guy that I met at the Super Bowl. I’m working on a center for domestic violence for women in honor of my sister and actually going and speaking to women about domestic violence, I’m getting ready to publish my book, I actually [launched]up a clothing line. I have a lot of things that I want to do before I’m done playing so once I’m done playing I can focus on some of the things that I’ve started outside of football.

Amps – I think it’s a great thing that you’re doing because a lot of women don’t know when to get out or [are]either scared to get out of the situation, because I was in an abusive marriage for years before I decided to get out and what some people don’t know in some cases, not in all, but in some cases, some women just have that low self esteem. You have so many domestic violence cases all over the world and not just women, men get abused too, but by me being a woman I can only speak from a woman’s perspective. If a man tells you enough that no one is going to want you or he tells you that no one else is going to treat you like I do, it doesn’t click in your mind to say, “I don’t want anyone else to treat me like you treat me.” If you’ve been in that situation or zone for so long then that’s all you know and you actually start believing that.
Chris – [That’s] what a lot of females don’t realize and for me I’ve been on both sides now. I’ve been on the side where my sister’s life was taken and the guy wasn’t an abusive guy, he was just basically a no good guy. He just lurked around as far as whoever would let him stay with them, females don’t see that as a sign and say I need to get out of this situation. I’ve also been on the other side to where my other sister. The guy beat her to where she had a black eye and putting drugs in her so I’ve seen both bad sides, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that [as]a female your life starts at home with your dad. If you don’t have that father figure and that foundation at your home, you don’t know how a man is supposed to treat you, what a man is suppose to say to you. So as a teenager and an adult, you will get out there in the streets trying to find a man, and the first man that tells you that he loves you or buys you something nice, that’s what you’re thinking a man is. That’s not what a man is, a man does not hit a woman, a man doesn’t verbally abuse a woman and that’s where it starts, at home. People think, “How did I get in this situation?” Either your mom and dad weren’t together while you were at home, so you [are]out searching for the perfect man, if you have that father figure in your life from day one, you know what a perfect man is because you will see how he treats your mother. There are a lot of females [that]see and get into a wrong relationship where they are thinking, “this is the right thing,” but before they know it, a man’s beating on them, cursing them out, and their self esteem gets low and the next thing they know, they are trapped in that life and thinking “don’t nobody else want me or I’m not pretty.” Whenever I talk to my daughter and my niece, I tell them how a man is suppose to treat them so when they start dating, they won’t let that young man talk or treat them any kind of way. If they don’t qualify for that, then that’s not the guy for you, let him move on. I’m teaching them now what my sisters didn’t have. My Mom was split from their dad. I saw that living in a single parent home, you only get one side, you get the momma side, and you don’t get the daddy side. My Dad wasn’t in my life so I’m teaching my sons how a man is suppose to treat a woman. My wife has started an organization called, “Pretty Smart Girl” and she’s letting them[know]that they don’t have to dress with their chest all out wearing tight clothes or wearing shorts so short to where their butt cheeks are out. All that does is attract the wrong kind of guys. A real man will not look at you and want to be with you.

Amps – What advice would you give to a young man who looks up to you and wants to be a pro athlete?
Chris -The first thing is that you need to get your high school diploma, go to college and you have to keep your grades up and play your best, give it your all. I don’t really speak on how you can be a good athlete. My question is what can you do to become a successful young man? There is one thing that no one can ever take away from you and that’s your diploma/your education, you will have that to the day you die.

Amps – How can your fans follow you and see what you are doing?
Chris – They can follow me on twitter @chrisjohnson_37 and they can also hit me up on Instagram: @chrisjohnson_37

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