Cleveland Browns' Johnny Manziel Called An 'Alcoholic' By 'First Take' Co-Host

By McCarton Ackerman 01/05/15

First Take co-host Skip Bayless finds himself in hot water after calling out the infamous quarterback on national television.


ESPN anchor Skip Bayless called the quarterback out in response to reports that Manziel threw a raucous party at his home that caused him to be late for an appointment for treatment on a strained hamstring. Although he was fined, the quarterback denied ever throwing a party at his home and said he was out that night with friends. However, he publicly apologized to his team.

“It’s about actions,” he said. “It’s about being accountable and doing what I’m going to say [I’ll do] instead of looking like a jackass…it was a mistake by me…I brought this on myself.”

That wasn’t enough for Bayless, though. He said that Manziel “continues to have a problem with alcohol. And I believe…that it is time for Johnny to get some help. He continues to lie to his executives, to his coaches, to his teammates, to the media, and most of all, he continues to lie to himself.” When First Take co-host Stephen A. Smith gave him the chance to retract his statements, Bayless went even further by calling him an alcoholic and claiming that “I think he can’t handle his alcohol.”

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was also reportedly at Manziel’s home party and missed a team walk-through the next day, prompting him to be suspended for the team’s final game of the season. He tested positive for THC last March, his second failed drug test, and was suspended last August for the 2014-15 NFL season because he was in Stage 3 of the league’s substance abuse policy program. However, Gordon continues to deny having a substance abuse problem and said his positive tests were the result of secondhand smoke. 

“I wouldn’t know what I was addicted to because I don’t do anything,” he said to ESPN The Magazine. "[The media] want to create this monster. Every story about me seems so harsh. He's an addict, a junkie, a cokehead. That's not who you really are."

Luckily for Gordon, new changes to the league’s drug policy last September meant that he was able to return to the team on Nov. 23. 



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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.