CLEVELAND- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is responding to his critics and apologizing to his teammates in a letter posted online.
Gordon, who was drafted in 2012, failed a drug test last week and faces being suspended from the NFL. This comes after he was slapped with a 10-game suspension last season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
As NBA great Charles Barkley and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith express concerns for the young player’s future, Gordon has his own message.
“Respectfully, your worry over my ‘problems’ with substance abuse and my twisting descent into darkness and, apparently, my impending death, is misplaced — mostly because you have very little idea what you are talking about,” Gordon wrote in an “open letter” on medium.com.
The receiver said he is setting to the record straight.
“I have let down many in Cleveland — my Browns teammates, our hard-working coaching staff, the team’s ownership, and the loyal fan base that wants nothing more than to win. Playing there is different than in many other cities. We feel the fans’ pain. We know how important this is to them,” Gordon said.
He goes on to talk about his marijuana use and driving under the influence. He said he has not smoked marijuana since he was drafted into the NFL.
“What I do know is the following: I am not a drug addict; I am not an alcoholic; I am not someone who deserves to be dissected and analyzed like some tragic example of everything that can possibly go wrong for a professional athlete,” No. 12 wrote.