Before the killing of five police officers in Dallas on July 7, an NFL player posted a controversial and graphic image onto his Instagram account that depicted a police officer with his throat slashed.
Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell posted a picture of a man wearing a black jacket with black gloves slitting the throat of a police officer, with a caption that reads: "Mood: They give polices all types of weapons and they continuously choose to kill us… #Weak."
Crowell later deleted and apologized the image, according to WCBS. The controversial image reportedly went up before the five Dallas police officers were killed, but after two black men -- Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana -- had been fatally shot by police.
Crowell released a statement regarding the image:
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. 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 5 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 Cleveland Browns were reportedly not pleased with Crowell's conduct or the stir that it caused on social media, inevitably leading many to call for the team to release the 23-year-old running back.
The team issued a statement on the matter, saying:
We have spoken to Isaiah regarding his extremely disturbing and unacceptable social media decision. 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.