Larry Johnson opens up about Chiefs history, personal issues

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 20: Larry Johnson /

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson opened up about his personal changes and troubled history on 610 Sports.

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson recently opened up about his troubled past and current changes on 610 Sports in a longer candid sort of interview you rarely hear on sports radio. In it, he attempts to explain why he was always getting into trouble and details how his now-7-year-old daughter has helped to bring about so many changes in his life.

On correcting Jamaal Charles on Twitter (about Broncos remarks):

It’s not that I took a shot at him. When he first came in, I told Allen Wright and Mike Davidson, “I want his stuff right next to me and my locker.” I wanted him to learn what to do and what not to do. I was definitely the example of what not to do. I would hope that, after he’s spent his time in Kansas City, that he’d be able to thank the fans, thanks for the support, thanks for the chance and opportunity. Then move on to Denver and when you get there say, “I’m with this team now,” but also respect that you made four Pro Bowls and broke numerous records rushing in Kansas City. Why leave on a sour note when you can just look at the time you spent in KC and say, “This time is now and now is the time I try to revamp my career and go on and play.”

This is all fans have is to be able to latch on and be able to appreciate when good players come through your program or through the organization and not feel betrayed whenever you say, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to play for this team.” It makes it seem like you cheapen your efforts in Kansas City. It’s not a shot at Jamaal Charles. I love Jamaal like a brother and no one is happier for Jamaal than me. Like I said, when he came as a young, fresh kid, a rookie, I literally had to sit him next to me and I was always next to him every step of the way. I’m so proud that he became what he became.

On being selfish in the NFL:

At 22 or 23 years old and you have such a chip on your shoulder, I didn’t know how to turn that off. I used every negative vice that was at my disposal and just ran amok. I basically just ran amok in Kansas City. When you feel so much rage and anger and you don’t know why things are the way they are and you can’t control them, you lash you at everybody. That’s what being immature does. Immature is not being able to control your emotions when things get down. It literally took me having my own child to understand that I’m no longer living for myself.

When I was in Kansas City in that jersey, I was living for only me. When people would see on TV that I’d gotten in trouble or had gotten arrested, I’m thinking, “Poor me, I’m the victim.” I’m not looking at fans of Kansas City to where they have to hear insults and have to always text their friends or family members who are Giants fans or Oakland fans where my name would come up and they would have to feel disappointed that they have to always vouch or fight for me and say, “This is not who he is. He’s a good player.”

I understand now. I didn’t understand then, but I understand now that you can’t take fans for granted. You can’t take the organization that you’re in for granted. Trust me, perception is everything and you have to fight for the rest of your life to get back in good graces with people who paid $75 or $80 just to go in a stadium and watch you play and may or may not get an autograph from you, but the love of them to come to the stands to watch and support you — it makes them feel bad because you’re out running amok and feeling selfish.

You can listen to the entire episode here.