NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson said Tuesday morning in his first interview since being released from a Florida jail a day earlier that he knows some people may believe he doesn't deserve a second chance, but he wants to "finish my career off the right way."
Speaking on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Johnson, 35, came forward about his actions in a courtroom last week that led to a rather impromptu 30 day jail sentence. He was released after serving seven days.
Johnson had initially been in court to serve a probation hearing, but received the additional sentence as the hearing was wrapping up after he slapped his attorney on the backside, prompting some people in the court room to laugh out loud.
He said in retrospect that the additional sentence handed down by Broward County Judge Kathleen McHugh forced him to do something he's been trying to do for a while:
"I've learned my lesson, especially over those past seven days. I think everyone deserves a second chance. Many would say I might not deserve it. I would like to finish my career off the right way. I think that Judge McHugh was able to get me do something many people have tried to get me to do for a long time: slow down, just at life in general. She was able to get me to do that, maybe not in the best circumstances for those on the outside but I see being able to sit down and think about life and where I'm going from this point was probably on one of the best things that could happen to me right now."
A six-time Pro Bowler, Johnson was cut by the Miami Dolphins the day after he was arrested for battery charges stemming from an incident last summer in which he headbutted his wife. He said Tuesday morning on GMA that he would "love to grace the football field one more time and to help some team."
Footage of the incident last week that landed Johnson in jail for seven days can be seen below: