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What Happened To C.J. Stroud'S Dad

What Happened To C.J. Stroud’S Dad

C.J. Stroud’s Advocacy for Criminal Justice Reform Amidst Father’s Incarceration

C.J. Stroud’s Advocacy for Criminal Justice Reform Amidst Father’s Incarceration

As C.J. Stroud excels in his rookie season with the Houston Texans, his off-field actions are drawing as much attention as his on-field exploits. The young quarterback has not only secured a spot in the NFL playoffs but is also using his growing platform to address a deeply personal issue: criminal justice reform. This initiative is driven by his father’s current incarceration, a situation that Stroud has been open about in recent discussions.

The Catalyst Behind Stroud’s Advocacy

Coleridge Bernard Stroud III, C.J. Stroud’s father, is serving a 38-year sentence for multiple charges including carjacking and kidnapping, following a 2015 conviction. The events leading to his imprisonment were part of a drug-related incident in California, which ended dramatically with a police chase and Coleridge attempting to escape by jumping into San Diego Bay. His criminal activities have had a profound impact on his family, pushing them to the brink of financial ruin and affecting C.J.’s upbringing significantly.

Despite these challenges, C.J. Stroud has risen through the ranks of college football at Ohio State and emerged as a top NFL prospect, all while his father watched from prison, unable to support his son in person. This painful reality has fueled Stroud’s commitment to criminal justice reform, hoping to shed light on the systemic issues within the system and advocate for humane treatment of inmates.

Stroud’s Public Statements and Actions

Following a standout performance in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Stroud openly criticized the criminal justice system, highlighting the inhumane conditions many inmates face. His comments came after wearing cleats with the message “Free Pops” during a game, symbolizing his plea for his father’s release and reform within the system. Stroud’s actions and words have sparked conversations and drawn support from the public, many of whom commend him for his bravery in discussing such a personal issue publicly.

Stroud’s advocacy is not just about his father but is aimed at the broader issues affecting the criminal justice system in the United States. He has expressed a desire to be more vocal and active in reform efforts, participating in initiatives like the REFORM Alliance, which seeks to transform probation and parole practices nationwide.

Impact on Stroud’s Career and Personal Life

The challenges of dealing with his father’s incarceration have not deterred Stroud from pursuing excellence on the football field. His performance as a rookie has been record-setting, and his leadership has brought the Texans to playoff contention, a remarkable achievement for any player, let alone a rookie. Off the field, Stroud’s advocacy for criminal justice reform has added a significant chapter to his growing legacy, distinguishing him as an athlete committed to making a difference in society.

Stroud’s journey from a challenging childhood to NFL stardom is a testament to his resilience and character. Raised primarily by his mother, who instilled in him the values of humility and hard work, Stroud has navigated the pressures of his career while also addressing the injustices of a system that has directly impacted his family. His efforts highlight the potential for athletes to influence social change, using their platforms to bring attention to critical issues beyond their sports.

Looking Forward

As C.J. Stroud continues to develop his career in the NFL, his role as an advocate for criminal justice reform is likely to evolve as well. With each game he plays and each public appearance he makes, Stroud is not just fighting for victories on the field but also for justice off it. His story is a powerful reminder of the impact of personal experiences on public advocacy and the role of athletes in societal issues.

Whether or not his father will see freedom during his lifetime remains uncertain, but Stroud’s commitment to the cause is clear. Through his efforts, he hopes to ensure that the conversation about criminal justice reform remains active, and that real changes are made to improve the lives of those within the system.


  • Why is C.J. Stroud’s father in prison?
    He was convicted in 2015 for carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, and misdemeanor sexual battery related to a drug incident.
  • What is C.J. Stroud doing about his father’s situation?
    Stroud has become an advocate for criminal justice reform, using his platform to highlight the need for systemic changes and better treatment of inmates.
  • How has Stroud’s father’s imprisonment affected him?
    It has been a motivating factor in his life, pushing him to succeed on the football field and advocate for justice off it.
  • What is the REFORM Alliance?
    An organization aimed at transforming probation and parole by changing laws and practices to improve the lives of those affected by the criminal justice system.
  • Has C.J. Stroud’s advocacy been effective?
    While it’s too early to measure the impact of his advocacy on policy, his efforts have raised awareness and fostered public discussion about criminal justice reform.
  • What does “Free Pops” mean on Stroud’s cleats?
    It’s a personal message advocating for the release of his father and a symbol of his broader campaign for criminal justice reform.

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