Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has taken the NFL by storm. The young QB has been playing sensationally this season and has forced his name into the MVP conversation. While Stroud has always been in the spotlight — even back in his days at Ohio State — when you’re playing at a high level in the NFL, that light can shine bright.
However, it’s not just his play on the field that Stroud wants to talk about at this moment because he has bigger things on his mind he would like to see changed.
C.J. Stroud Calls for Criminal Justice Reform
Stroud’s play has been the story this season, but he’s chosen to use his newfound attention to shed light on a situation that is important and hits home for him.
Stroud’s father is currently in prison. Stroud is speaking out, looking for America to do something about the criminal justice system as he has seen how it has impacted his and his father’s life.
After a stellar performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9, Stroud took to the podium and used the moment to talk about his father and the current situation he faces with the idea that his words may be able to help reform the criminal justice system.
“That’s what I’ve been battling with, trying to still be a family man … and still be a football player and do my job,” Stroud said. “I got to talk to my dad a little bit this week. I’m praying to God that something can happen, that he can get out and come to one of these games. I’ve been praying for him a lot,” Stroud started.
“I didn’t want to make this public, but our criminal justice isn’t right,” Stroud said. “It’s something that I probably need to be a little more vocal about because what he’s going through is not right,” he continued.
“It’s not just my dad’s situation; the whole criminal justice system is corrupt. I’ve been watching videos. In Mississippi, some of the prisons have rats and roaches and things like that.”
Stroud summed up his thoughts by understanding that there are punishments for crimes but that he hopes for better situations than the ones people like his father find them in.
“Don’t get me wrong. Criminals should do their time, and everything should be like that. But they’re still humans. I just wanted to shine a light on that real quick.”
Why Is Stroud’s Dad in Prison?
Stroud’s father, Coleridge Bernard Stroud III, is currently in prison after pleading guilty to a 2015 carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, and misdemeanor sexual battery charge. According to reports, on April 12, 2015, police arrested Stroud in downtown San Diego after he allegedly forced himself inside a woman’s vehicle.
Allegedly she was waiting in traffic at a spotlight when he decided to get into her car, demanding that she drive to a location where he could purchase drugs. The woman escaped the ordeal but alleged that she was assaulted by Stroud during the altercation.
The sentence handed down for the incident was 38 years after he pled guilty, and he will not be eligible for parole until 2040.
In the meantime, C.J. is trying to use his platform to promote change within the system. And although he understands that his father is responsible for his actions, he believes at the end of the day that his father, and people in situations like his, deserve to be treated like human beings as well.