In an emotional conversation centered around mental health and recently losing his mother, former football player Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson broke down on Monday’s episode of the I AM ATHLETE podcast.
The increasingly popular podcast featured an in-depth discussion between Ochocinco, Brandon Marshall, Channing Crowder, and “Unc” Fred Taylor.
In the episode, Marshall stresses the importance of having conversations about mental health. He then asks Ochocinco about losing his mother, Hurricane Paula Johnson, just a month ago.
“It hurts to lose the person responsible for who I am,” says Johnson. “Those memories will always be there. I have the memories, both good and bad. I’ve learned through the ups and downs that I have to find that happy medium and keep the pendulum from swinging too far in either direction.”
Ochocinco opens up about their final interaction, revealing that she had been upset with him for going out to dinner with his family for his birthday and not inviting her. She had sent him a string of texts letting him have it. But, he says, “If that exchange had been her saying I love you or some sort of goodbye, it wouldn’t have been true to who my mama was,” said Ochocinco. “That’s what I’m used to. That gave me peace.”
Following the emotional conversation, Marshall reassures him that the crew is there for him. They all come together for a touching group hug before Johnson cuts into the serious moment by joking, “don’t touch my butt.”
Check out the touching conversation below.