Johnny Manziel's casino visit, in which the 20-year-oldTexas A&M quarterback flashed a stack of money he won, is making rounds on the internet and social media websites. Manziel originally posted the photo to his Instagram account Saturday, and although he deleted it, the screenshots circulating have led to criticism.
Johnny Manziel's casino visit- unceremoniously documented on his Instagram handle @jmanziel2 with the caption "casino ballin!"- showed the freshman quarterback with stacks of $20s with a friend. Although Manziel is technically old enough to be in the Indian casino in Oklahoma because the age limit is only 18, it brings up questions of how the NCAA football phenomenon is getting money, and from whom.
Various critics appeared to question Manziel's motives, especially as a Heisman Trophy winner and widely recognized face of NCAA football is heavily affiliated with the sport.
"Legal or not, it is just plain STUPID to do that when your entire career relies on your image," lakawak wrote on the LarryBrownSports.com blog.
"Looks like Johnny Football got his traditional Sec booster payoff after winning their bowl game and decided to have fun," another user wrote, referring to Manziel's trouncing of Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl just the day before the photo was posted.
The Heisman Trophy winner didn't take too kindly to the criticism, though.
"Nothing illegal about being 18+ in a casino and winning money …KEEP HATING!" Manziel tweeted not long after the incident.
Manziel hasn't done much in the past to assuage criticism about his image, either. He was previously photographed partying in a Scooby Doo outfit and sitting in courtside seats at a Miami Heat-Dallas Mavericks game- announcers openly wondered how he had obtained tickets at the time.
Still, others point out that in a business predicated on image and winning, it's probably wiser to be careful than to be sorry.
"Manziel needs to realize that he is the face of college football right now and he can't post tweets like a 17-year-old recruit or an overpaid professional athlete," Yahoo! Sports journalist Graham Watson wrote. "He should have fun. … But in the end, there's a time and place to share your business and … at the casino isn't that time or place."