It was reported this weekend that a judge "chastised" and "scolded" former Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, who blew off community service in favor of something less sweaty. But while the judge talked tough about Johnson's behavior, His Honor practically soiled his robe when it came time to lay down the law on the league's leading woman batterer.
Johnson is on probation for shoving and spitting booze on women in separate Kansas City nightclub incidents -- the third and fourth times he's been accused of violence against women. Municipal Court Judge Joseph Locascio, under the impression that serial woman abusers make good role models, assigned Johnson to community service at the local Police Athletic League, where he was supposed to play sports with kids.
It was a gift from an apparently sports-starstruck judge -- but Johnson was too stupid to unwrap it. Instead, the Star reported on Saturday, he tried to start an art program. Why run around in the Kansas City summer when you can stay in the air-conditioned indoors, watching kids color while you surf your Facebook app for new women to toss around, right?
Not surprisingly, the kids at the Police Athletic League weren't interested, and Johnson came up well short of the 40 hours he was supposed to complete. And now, with summer halfway gone, it's almost time for Johnson to report to Washington, D.C., where he'll play this season for Captain Rehab Mike Shanahan, who's added Johnson to the list of washed up thugs he believes he can save.
It was a not-so-rare opportunity for a judge smack the sense of entitlement off of an athlete's face. And, judging from the news reports, Locascio sounded tempted to do it. At a hearing Friday, he told Johnson that he "puts people in jail every day for not doing community service."
"He has to do what he agreed to," he added, according to The Star. "No more of this wishy-washy."
That's when he unleashed a huge can of wishy-washy on the proceedings. Not only did he not put Johnson in jail, or even require him complete the original assignment, he didn't even make him serve the community where he wreaked his havoc. That, of course, would interfere with Johnson's Very Important Job as the 47th running back on Shanahan's Redskins roster.
Instead, the judge did what people have no doubt been doing for Johnson all his life: Gave him a pass. He ordered Johnson to complete his community service with any nonprofit in Washington, D.C., basically ignoring every ounce of toughness in his talk in exchange for the pussiest move since -- well, since Larry Johnson spit his drink on a woman.
Johnson, no doubt, will complete his service by doing whatever he would have otherwise done for the Redskins' charity, driven to and fro by some bright-eyed community relations intern whom Johnson will wind up demeaning in his own special way.
No wonder he was smiling as he left the courtroom.