NFL's C.J. Stroud: 'The Whole Criminal Justice System Is Corrupt'

Father and son: Coleridge Stroud III and C.J. with the Texans

NFL QB phenon C.J. Stroud has an interesting backstory: His father Coleridge, 56, is currently in a California prison sentenced to 38 years to life for a carjacking, kidnapping, robbery and sexual battery incident dating back to 2015.

During the Texans recent post-game interviews, Stroud brought up his dad:

"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.

"I didn't wanna make this public, man, but our criminal justice system isn't right. It's something that I need to probably be a little more vocal about, because what he's going through is not right... I'm praying for the situation... It's not just my dad's situation, but the whole criminal justice system is corrupt... Some of the prisons have rats and roaches and things like that. And don't get me wrong, criminals, they should pay their time but... they're still humans."

Coleridge is locked up at Folsom State Prison near Sacramento until at least 2040, unless he's paroled.

It's a crazy story what happened to Coleridge Stroud III, then a pastor, in 2015 when C.J. was just 13. According to Sports Illustrated:

"On Sunday, April 12, 2015, in downtown San Diego, a man forced his way into the vehicle of a woman stopped at a traffic light. He told her to drive to a house so he could buy drugs, assaulted her and then, after she escaped, fled San Diego Harbor Police in a chase that ended with his crashing the vehicle into a pole and leaping into the San Diego Bay.

"This was Coleridge’s fourth arrest and first in more than 20 years. From 1989 to ’92, he was convicted of felony drug possession, receiving stolen property, unlawful taking of a vehicle and armed robbery. For the latter, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

"During a 2018 appeal, Coleridge argued in mitigation that in ’12, when his marriage fell apart, 'his life spun out of control and he began using illegal drugs again after more than 20 years of sobriety.' The appeal was denied, and his sentence – 38 years to life – was upheld."

Ohio State grad C.J. (for Coleridge) is off to a great start in Houston. After eight games, he's amassed 2,270 passing yards (283 per game) and 18 TDs, has only thrown one interception and has a fantastic 102.9 quarterback rating. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 draft, Stoud's practically guaranteed to be named the NFL's Rookie of the Year. The 4-4 Texans play Cincinnati on Sunday.



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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.