Cornerback Aaron Berry did what many thought to be impossible Monday — he screwed up badly enough to be cut by the Lions.
Berry was arrested over the weekend on three counts of assault, which included brandishing a firearm. After a previous drunk driving arrest, that was the last straw.
But he may have done something even more impressive in the aftermath. He released a statement that either was written or dictated by him, or by someone who knows how to make a statement sound like the person it is being attributed to (unlike most athlete statements). Here’s the text in full of Berry’s portion, from his agent’s website:
“Words cannot describe how embarrassed I am right now. I’ve let my family, my teammates, my coaches and the entire Detroit Lions organization, including the fans down and I’m so sorry. I know it sounds crazy to some people, but I know I will continue to get better and grow from this unfortunate experience, I have no choice but to get better.
“There are always two sides to every story and the legal process will be where I will tell my side regarding this recent incident. I love the game of football and still feel I have a bright future ahead of me. I worked my butt off this off-season and I hope to be able to help some team in the NFL win games as I continue to grow as a father, friend, teammate and into the man I want to be.
“I want to thank Coach [Jim] Schwartz, Coach [Gunther] Cunningham, Martin Mayhew and all the Lions staff, players and fan base for such a wonderful opportunity where I was able to showcase my football skills. Again, I’m so sorry for letting you all down.”
His attorney, Corky Goldstein, added that the arrests were “a wake-up call,” for Berry, which you can only hope. Agent Audie Attar added that Berry was going to Chicago Tuesday to enter the league’s substance abuse program, and will continue treatment with doctors in California while he trains for a comeback.
At 24 years old, with enough talent to be a starter at a scarce position, Berry’s likely to get another chance. And if he actually wrote this statement — or more importantly believes its words and acts on it — he should get just that.