Another black eye for league as Johnny Manziel fan beaten
Cleveland Browns backup quarterback Johnny Manziel was in the middle of an early morning fight Saturday involving his entourage and a fan who sought to hug the NFL rookie.
Cleveland Scene`s website claimed Monday that a police report said authorities were called to a brawl that erupted around the incident involving 20 men and two security guards at The 9, a high-end apartment complex in Cleveland where many professional athletes live.
Chris Gonos, the alleged victim in the incident, said the brawl began when he noticed Manziel while waiting for an elevator.
According to the report, "at this time the victim stated to the unidentified male, `I`m the biggest Browns fan ever, I love you, I want to give you a hug`."
As Gonos stepped toward Manziel, he was punched in the face and beaten by other men with the Browns quarterback, leaving Gonos with a swollen lip and swollen right eye.
"One of his buddies like tackled me," Gonos told the website. "It was going down, a whole bunch of people started fighting. It ended pretty quick. I got a bruised hip and a bruised elbow and somebody hit me in the back of the head."
Gonos said no-one was arrested but his brother "tackled" Manziel and added, "I guess Johnny sucker-punched him while the security guard was holding him. It should be all on video.
"I know somebody else in the group smashed Johnny right in the face. Smashed him."
Browns general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement the team is looking into the matter.
"We are aware of the incident and are in the process of gathering additional information in order to gain a complete understanding of what occurred," Farmer said.
"Nonetheless, the time of the incident is concerning to us. We continually stress to all of our players the importance of sound decision-making in an effort to avoid putting themselves in these types of situations. We have addressed this appropriately with the player and will have no further comment at this time."
The Browns played Sunday in Atlanta, winning on a field goal with the final play of the game.
Manziel, a first-round choice in last May`s NFL Draft, was fined by the NFL for making an obscene gesture in a pre-season loss to Washington.
The incident comes in the wake of high-profile incidents of violence this season involving top NFL players, including former Baltimore running back Ray Rice, whose punch that knocked his future bride unconscious was captured on a security camera, and suspended Minnesota rusher Adrian Peterson, who made a plea deal to avoid jail time on charges stemming from punishing his son by smacking his rear with a tree twig so firmly that it caused welts, cuts and bruises.