Sadly, Johnson blurred the lines between reality television and real life. The ridiculousness of seeing Lozada and him on HBO’s Hard Knocks spoke to just how far Johnson had allowed his reality-television career to overshadow his real job as a professional football player. Despite stating that he lost himself last year, Johnson clearly had forgotten how he earned his bread and butter, traipsing around with his wife and interrupting an important meeting in the process.
When you are talented and lucky enough to have an 11-year, largely blemish-free run in the NFL, that is what should be nurtured and protected, not a reality-show career culminating in a marriage that should really have been just a fling, if we’re keeping it real. Lozada is learning a lesson as someone on the other end of an alleged assault. The same woman who chastised her former BFF Jennifer Williams for filing suit against Nia Crooks after Crooks slapped Williams on national television is now pressing charges against her attacker. I guess it’s all kicks and giggles when you’re the one fighting and jumping on women on TV, but not very funny or easily dismissed when you’re on the other end of an alleged violent act in real life.
Reality has bitten both Johnson and Lozada, serving as a cautionary tale. What works on television does not necessarily work in real life, and both are learning this lesson the hard way.
Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., is editor-at-large for The Root. Follow her on Twitter.