Haley says Chiefs looking into two incidents involving RB Johnson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chiefs running back Larry Johnson used a gay slur for the second time in two days Monday, the Kansas City Star reported on its Web site.

Johnson refused to speak with reporters Monday, one day after the Chiefs' 37-7 home loss to the San Diego Chargers. Sitting in front of his locker, he turned away and muttered the slur in telling reporters to get "out of here," according to the Star, which recorded the comment.

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"Whenever you have a situation like this where a player speaks out, often times it's because a coach maybe doesn't have an open-door policy, something I was able to experience with my coaches during my career. It could also be a situation where a coach does have that open-door policy, but things that have been said behind closed doors did not come to fruition on the field, and the player then decides to speak out.

"Without a doubt, this is a sign of deeper issues in Kansas City. There are bigger issues involved between Todd Haley and Larry Johnson."

On Sunday, Johnson belittled first-year Chiefs coach Todd Haley on Twitter in a series of posts that also included the same gay slur.

Haley said the Chiefs were looking into "a couple of situations" involving Johnson, but the coach declined further comment. Asked about the slurs, Haley said the team was "gathering facts."

"I will say that how our players conduct themselves with the media and through the media is very important to myself as a head coach and to the Chiefs as an organization," Haley said.

The tweets were posted to the "Toonicon" account. The Star reported that Johnson has said the online alias is his. The account includes a link to Johnson's personal Web site. Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore said the team couldn't verify that is Johnson's account.

The Twitter remarks were posted after the Chargers routed the Chiefs (1-6). One tweet read: "My father got more creditentials than most of these pro coaches."

That was followed by: "My father played for the coach from "rememeber the titans". Our coach played golf. My father played for redskins briefley. Our coach. Nuthn."

Haley, hired earlier this year to replace the fired Herm Edwards, didn't play high school or college football and attended college on a golf scholarship.

The tweets drew responses, including one that referred to a nightclub incident in which Johnson was accused of spitting in someone's face. Johnson's response include a three-letter gay slur.

The final post read: "Make me regret it. Lmao. U don't stop my checks. Lmao. So 'tweet' away."

A two-time Pro Bowler, Johnson was benched for three games by Edwards last year for unspecified violation of team rules. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Johnson for a fourth game for violating the league's player-conduct policy in connection with incidents involving two women in bars.

Johnson then was sentenced to two years' probation after pleading guilty to two counts of disturbing the peace. One woman accused Johnson of throwing a drink on her and another said he had pushed her head at a Kansas City night spot.


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A judge earlier this year suspended the sentence and said he would remove the guilty plea from the public record if Johnson finished the probation period without further incidents.

Johnson was one of the best running backs in the NFL in 2005 and '06, rushing for more than 1,700 yards in each season. In 2006, he set an NFL record with 410 carries, but his production fell to 559 yards the following season after he sat out training camp in a contract dispute.

Running behind a poor offensive line, Johnson hasn't done well this season, averaging just 2.7 yards per carry on 132 yards.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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