Cleveland Browns Coach Says the Team is Hurting After Chris Smith’s Girlfriend was KilledJavonni Brustow
Photo Credit: Chris Smith/Instagram
This past Wednesday morning, Cleveland Browns player Chris Smith’s Lamborghini had a flat tire. He got out with his girlfriend Petara Cordero, only to have her hit and killed by a drunk driver. So far charges have not been made and the toxicology report has not come back yet but the driver admitted to drinking before hitting Cordero. This occurred just 2 weeks after the couple gave birth to their first child, their daughter, Haven Harris Smith. During a press conference today, the Browns coach Freddie Kitchens made a statement on how the accident had been affecting the team as a whole.
“We’re supporting Chris every way possible. It was really kind of an emotional time, it still kind of is from the standpoint of Chris missed the preseason game because the birth of his daughter he just had. Chris is a great dude, good in the locker room. We’re going to support him. Our hearts and our prayers go out to him, his family, her family. Really sad.” He took a question about Sam Darnold being out on Monday due to him having mono but came back to the topic of Smith saying, “Chris is on my mind right now, His family’s on my mind, her family’s on my mind. The four-week old baby is on my mind. It’s a difficult time, but we’re going to get through it, there’s never going to be an excuse. We’re going to get through it, I promise you that, but we’re going to get through it together, but Chris is included in that, his family’s included in that.”
Kitchens went on to describe Smith as one of the most liked in the locker room saying, “Chris is one of those guys – his smile is infectious, his personality is infectious. He’s just overall well-liked. Of course, everybody in that locker room’s hurting for him.” As for whether he’s playing Monday, he said that’s the furthest thing from his mind. “I know this, when you go through bad things in life, you want people around you that care about you. And that care about you for the right reasons. That has nothing to do with playing a 5-technique. It has nothing to do with taking on a tight end. It has to do with wanting your best interests in mind.
“The way we try to approach things is literally … we want to become close. I tell these guys all the time, this football season is about the journey. You want to be around guys that want to be on the journey with you. To do that, you have to care about each other. If you want to get the most out of your team, at some point you have to start caring about each other. When you do that, that builds relationships.”
Kitchens said, “This goes beyond football. This was a 26-year-old young lady at the highlight of her life. Chris, not to get too personal about it, I mean, Chris is a good dude. She was a good girl. We just want to support him in any way we can.” He said losing the Titans 43-13 was something “but nothing compared to what yesterday was.”
“When life hits, it’s kind of a reality check,” he said. “We like to talk about balance, we think balance affects all areas. If you’re unbalanced in one area of your life, you’re not going to be balanced in the other areas of your life. I feel like Chris had great balance. But whenever you do have balance, which is the most rewarding way to go about life, something happens to one part of that, of course it’s affected in other areas, too.”
It’s almost impossible to imagine what this man must be going through and at 27 at that but we’re definitely praying for him.