Saturday evening, shortly after news broke that either wide receiver Chad Johnson head butted his wife of just over a month, Basketball Wives’ Evelyn Lozada, or the other way round, after one of them found a receipt for condoms that the other one bought, I pitched an essay to an editor to write about it for Monday.
She turned me down.
Initially, I best believed this was a publicity stunt for “Ev & Ocho”, Vh1’s reality show, which followed the couple as they planned their nuptials and launched a new life together. It was slated to debut in early September. And given all the crazy things done in the name of seeking viewers—naked pictures, media feuds, and actual fights—there was good reason to be skeptical (a lot of folks were.) I intended to write an essay saying as much. Of course, there was a chance I was wrong, and that editor suggested that it didn’t look so good to go on record not believing a victim of abuse. Valid point. I held my “tongue”, even here and other social media platforms to wait for future developments.
I’m glad I waited given the turn of events. The following day, Johnson was dropped from the Dolphins, his new NFL team*, additional details emerged about Evelyn fleeing to a neighbor’s house in fear, and on Monday, VH1 dropped the show** from the fall lineup. This incident appears to be the real deal, not a stunt. My knee-jerk reaction was wrong.
In no way do I support violence of any kind. I am on the record for speaking out against violence toward children and domestic violence of any kind, not only men toward women, but women toward men too, or anybody at all toward each other. Everyone with hands—or “paws” or heads—should keep theirs to themselves. I don’t in any way think reality TV’s poster child for hell raising deserved to be allegedly head-butted by her husband. A three-inch gash that requires medical attention isn’t a laughing matter.
But— and forgive me, Politically Correct Police—I find it hard to sympathize with her current situation. The actual head butt? Yes. That’s horrific, pre-historic and no one should endure that. The direct fall out from it? Um, no, not at all.
From what we’ve seen of Ev, she seems to have spent the better part of her adult years chasing fame and/or someone with money to wife her and fame (not necessarily in that order and including her cast-mate’s ex husband). Her marriage to Johnson — as much as he’s become a punch line now, he was once kind of a big deal— was the ultimate come up. Not quite a basketball wife, but a footballer’s better half is a nice consolation prize. Johnson had fame, as much for his on-the-field accomplishments as his antics (for a long while, he rocked a gold grill, a bronze-blond mohawk and changed his God given surname to “Ochocinco”, broken Spanish for his jersey number). And even if by the time Evelyn latched her cart to his wagon, his career heyday had passed— outside of sports circles, he was best known for appearing on VH1 reality dating show “The Ultimate Catch”, and “Dancing with the Stars”, where Johnson made it to the final four— it still counted for something pretty big. Together, they had enough star power to get Evelyn off an ensemble cast reality show and get her a personalized platform, alongside her husband, of course. She got what she wanted: someone else’s money and a ring (perhaps not in that importance).
And now she’s lost her coveted show, maybe even her man too (if not now, soon come. This union was never doing even J.Lo- Marc Anthony numbers) and definitely his millions in money as he’s currently unemployed and not likely to be picked up again. No, this recent turn of events isn’t Evelyn’s fault, but either way, her fifteen minutes finally appear to be up. I don’t like why her house of cards seems to be collapsing, but I’ll gladly be called a hater if necessary, for not being able to muster more than “Eh…. “ watching them fall.
*For clarity, they really didn’t want him anyway. Plenty of athletes have gone thru worst scandals and stayed with their franchise. I don’t know ish about football, but I do understand how relationships work.
**They’re actions reveal they weren’t all that committed to airing it. Given the BBW backlash, no surprise. But there’s no way a network drops a show that debuts in less than month with no contingency plan and leaves all that ad dollar money on the table. You don’t pull a back up plan out of thin air in 48 hours. It’s like how when anyone gets fired from a job. It was in the works long before you knew about it.