Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell apologized for his social media reaction to last week’s killing of two black men by police and has pledged a game check to a Dallas police organization.
Crowell said Tuesday that he made an “extremely poor decision” when he posted a drawing that graphically showed a hooded individual putting what looks like a machete into the throat of a police officer.
In a video posted on TMZ Sports on Wednesday, Crowell said that “by posting that picture I became part of the problem. I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution. To back that up, my first game check is going to the Dallas Fallen Officers Foundation.”
Saying he wants to work toward opening dialogue between his community and police, Crowell also added: “I know this might not change your mind about me, and I know I can’t take the post back, but I’m sorry. And moving forward I’m committed to being part of the solution.”
The Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation was established in 2009 by active Dallas police officers to help immediate families of officers critically injured or killed in the line of duty.
Crowell’s post had created an uproar. On Monday, the Browns organization did not mince words in its reaction.
“We have spoken to Isaiah regarding his extremely disturbing and unacceptable social media decision,” the team said in a written 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.”
Crowell had issued a statement on Monday that was released by the team.
“It was an extremely poor decision and I apologize for that mistake and for offending people,” he said. “My values and beliefs do not match that image.”
The post went up after the police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and before the killing of five Dallas police officers Thursday night.
Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, also was critical of Crowell, telling TMZ Sports that the player’s “store-bought apology” was inadequate.
Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams said that Crowell apologized to him in a call Tuesday and that Crowell said he was caught up in the emotion of last week.
Crowell wrote that he was “outraged and upset” by the killings of Sterling and Castile, and “outraged and saddened” by the killing of the five Dallas police officers. He called last week “an emotional and difficult week,” but said his post was wrong.
“We have to be better as a society,” Crowell said. “It’s not about color, it’s about what’s right and wrong. I was very wrong in posting that image. Every single life matters, every death as a result of violence should be treated with equal outrage and penalty.”
Crowell removed the image shortly after posting it, but the image still was shared on social media.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, when asked whether the league had any response, said: “The image was inappropriate and insensitive. He realized this, took down the post and has since apologized.”
Information from ESPN’s Pat McManamon was used in this report.