A Cleveland Browns standout who Instagrammed a photo of a police officer with his throat being slit won’t be cut by the team, but team management didn’t consider his apology enough and would be judging him on positive actions he takes going forward.
According to Cleveland.com, Isaiah Crowell, a running back with the team, caused a firestorm of controversy when he briefly posted a picture of what appeared to be a Jihadi John-type figure slitting the throat of a police officer. (Warning: The image is shown below, and it is graphic.)
The post was accompanied by text which read, “They give police all types of weapons and they continually choose to kill us….#Weak.”
Here’s the post (WARNING: GRAPHIC):
Crowell took the sick image down almost immediately, but screenshots were already floating around on social media. While Crowell had posted it last Wednesday, before the attacks in Dallas, he still drew massive fire for his disturbing decision.
“Last week was an emotional and difficult week as we saw extreme acts of violence against black men across our country as well as against police officers in Dallas,” he wrote in an apology. “I posted an image to Instagram in the midst of that emotion that I shouldn’t have and immediately removed it. It was an extremely poor decision and I apologize for that mistake and for offending people.
“My values and beliefs do not match that image. I am outraged and upset by the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile along with so many others. I am also outraged and saddened by the attacks in Dallas and the deaths of the five honorable police officers (Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa) who were providing protection while trying to keep peace.”
However, the Browns weren’t quite so willing to forgive and forget.
“We have spoken to Isaiah regarding his extremely disturbing and unacceptable social media decision,” the team said in a statement. “It was completely inappropriate and we have made him aware of our high level of disappointment. Isaiah has apologized but also knows that just an apology is insufficient and that he must take steps to make a positive difference after a very negative and impactful post.”
And Crowell will have to do a lot to blunt the impact of his post. In a poll conducted by Cleveland.com, 70 percent of Browns fans felt that he “should face as severe a punishment as possible,” with 18 percent arguing for fines and only 12 percent saying the apology had done enough.
One way or another, it looks like this is going to hit Isaiah Crowell where it hurts the hardest: his wallet.