The Browns have made it clear Isaiah Crowell is not going to be able to just apologize his way out of trouble.
But after posting and deleting an inflammatory image of a masked man stabbing a police officer in the neck (which came between police officers killing two men in Louisiana and Minnesota, but before the killings of five police officers in Dallas), Crowell continues to emphasize to whoever will listen that he’s not going to be defined by his terrible social media mistake.
According to Dan Labbe of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns running back used at least five versions of “that’s not who I am” during his press conference at the start of camp.
He’s also issued a video apology, promised to donate his first game check to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and attended the funeral of Patrick Zamarripa, one of the police officers who was killed in Dallas. He’s also met with local police, trying to soothe feelings that are understandably raw.
“I feel like I have to prove [that’s not who I am] every day,” Crowell said. “I feel like I can shake it off and move on. My main focus is football and trying to be the best I can be for my teammates and coaches. I understand what’s going on.
Crowell has admitted at every juncture that the grisly image was wrong, but he also comes from a background which makes a certain distrust of police understandable. He said he’s had friends and family members have “situations with police,” but wasn’t trying to justify his mistake either.
“I feel like that did have part of my emotions that day,” he admitted. “But I feel like there’s still no excuse for what happened and I apologize for it. . . .
“I want to be part of the solution and not the problem, and posting that picture I was part of the problem. I don’t want to be that.”
Those are the right words to say. More importantly, his actions since making his mistake indicate a genuine contrition, and will be the only way for Crowell to remain in the team’s good graces.