If it wasn’t painfully obvious before, it looks like Larry Johnson’s time in Kansas City is coming to an awkward and ugly end.
In an online petition to Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, disgruntled fans are asking that the running back be deactivated in an attempt to keep him from surpassing Priest Holmes as the team’s all-time rushing leader.
Johnson is 74 yards behind Holmes and currently serving a suspension through Nov. 8 for taking coach Todd Haley to task and making several homophobic slurs.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had some 1,400 signatures.
Here’s some of the anti-Johnson, pro-Holmes language contained in this electronic document:
We are asking you, as fans of this team, this organization, and of the pride that this city has in the Chiefs, please deactivate Larry Johnson. Please do not let his name sit atop the all-time rushing leaders in Kansas City Chiefs history, the petition says. He has never represented anything close to the values that we have for our Chiefs and it would be another dagger to the fans that continue to support this proud franchise. We are asking this as a favor to those of us who have supported this team long, long, long before you were brought in, the petition continued. We will support you through thick and thin — you will find out that we are a loyal, loyal bunch. … However, allowing Larry Johnson to attain a record is something that can never be erased.
There’s two ways of looking at this. The first is that Chiefs fans should take what they can get in Johnson, considering that this has already been a woeful season (1-6). The other is seeing this as taking a stand, winning an off-the-field victory in that aforementioned miserable season.
Either way, it’s a stark example of how fast things can change in professional sports. In both 2005 and 2006, Johnson rushed for over 1,700 yards and was lauded by fans as the next big thing. Now, many of those who rushed out and bought his jersey are the same who never want to see it on the field again.