Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell apologized on Monday for posting a disturbing drawing to his Instagram account recently, but the team says the apology doesn't go far enough.
The graphic image, which Crowell quickly deleted but is still easily found on Twitter, depicted a police officer having his throat slashed by an attacker.
The caption read "They give police all types of weapons and they continually choose to kill us....#Weak" in reference to the recent shooting deaths of men in Louisiana and Minnesota by police.
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The image drew considerable criticism after five police officers were killed on duty in Dallas last week, and after screenshots of it went viral on Twitter Monday he issued his apology.
"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. "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.
"We have to be better as a society, 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.''
The Browns, however, say he'll have to back up his words by making a "positive difference" down the road. The team has heard from fans and some media calling for harsh punishment or even his outright dismissal.
"We have spoken to Isaiah regarding his extremely disturbing and unacceptable social media decision,'' the Browns said in the statement, attributed to a team spokesman. "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, 23, is headed into his third season with the Browns.