Pittsburgh Steelers star sues after allegedly abandoning kids at his own youth soccer camp

A star receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers faces a lawsuit over his failure to attend the youth soccer camp he allegedly hosted.

According to a report Tuesday by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Diontae Johnson worked with FlexWork Sports Management LLC to organize a youth soccer camp that will take place May 22 at Cupples Stadium in the city. city.

Camping costs $125 per person for the base package, which includes a photo with the Pro Bowl receiver, the report said.

Parents can also pay more for higher-tier packages that will give their kids more access to Johnson, the Post-Gazette reported.

In a lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, FlexWork alleges Maxx Lepselter, an agent of Johnson, contacted camp organizers at 9:47 a.m. on May 22, just 13 minutes before the camp began, the report said. He informed them that Johnson’s flight had been canceled the night before but that he planned to get there later in the day.


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Court records say Lepselter later told organizers Johnson left the airport because he didn’t feel like waiting for a second flight.

They also discussed the possibility of a free camp with Johnson at a later date, where he would sign gloves to make up for his absence from the camp May 22, the filing said.

If FlexWork’s allegations are true, Johnson’s actions deserve criticism.

No one likes flight delays, and they can certainly be difficult to navigate. With that said, the NFL star has pledged to be respectful, and if he leaves the airport for inconvenience, that’s not an appropriate response.

Should Johnson be forced to repay the company?

FlexWork said Johnson had previously agreed to pay a $2,250 fee if he canceled after April 5. It also alleges he agreed to reimburse all costs the company had incurred at the time. point he cancels.

The management company said in its filing that it has refunded $36,099.33 in cash to parents, in addition to the same amount in credits for future camps, in an attempt to “slight relief.” damages resulting from Johnson’s breach of contract”.

The company also said it paid more than $10,000 in fees to cinematographers, rented cars, flights, hotels, food and drinks and paid staff, the Post-Gazette reported.

“As a result of Johnson’s breach, FlexWork has suffered and continues to suffer damages in the amount determined at trial, plus interest, costs, disbursements, and attorneys’ fees,” the filing said. .

Arguably worse than the monetary damage caused by Johnson’s absence was the emotional damage to the children.


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Imagine waking up, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to meet an NFL star, only to make it all the way to the camp site and find out he wasn’t coming.

If Johnson really didn’t show up just because he didn’t want to wait a moment at the airport, he made a selfish decision that affected both FlexWork and the kids he promised to interact with.

However, the wide receiver tells the story much more than that.

“There are always two sides to a story, lol…” Johnson tweeted on Wednesday, add“Ain go let it shake my spirit.”

Western Magazine has reached out to Johnson for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

The wide receiver signed a lucrative contract extension with the Steelers last week. According to ESPN, Johnson’s new deal is worth up to $39.5 million over three years.

This article originally appeared in Western Magazine.

We are committed to honesty and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.


NFL National Football League, USA news

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Mike Fahey

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