Former Cleveland Browns safety Jermaine Whitehead, who on Sunday called a Twitter critic “a cracker,” apologized on Tuesday.
The Browns released Whitehead after his Twitter tirade, directed at Cleveland sports talk host Dustin Fox, who criticized his poor tackling.
“I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my actions following our game with Denver,” Whitehead wrote on Instagram. “That was totally out of character for me. I do not justify my actions, but was extremely frustrated with the way I had played and our team losing because of it. I was playing with a broken hand, but that is no excuse for my actions, and I am deeply regretful.
“I want to personally apologize to anyone who I offended, especially those who I was responsive to on Twitter. My choice of words did not reflect who I am, but only what I was feeling. Also, my sincerest apologies to my teammates, coaches, the Browns organization and most of all, the fans and kids that motivate me to even pursue this dream.
“Again I am deeply sorry for my unacceptable behavior, and I wish the Browns the best of luck in the future. I love you!”
Whitehead went after Fox on Twitter after the former NFL safety tweeted Whitehead’s tackling is “a joke.” It’s unclear if Fox knew that Whitehead was playing with a broken hand.
“Whiteheads efforts tackling today is a joke,” Fox tweeted on Sunday.
Whitehead’s Twitter responses to Fox included, ” “Imma kill you bitch.. that’s on blood” and “I’m out there with a broke hand.. don’t get smoked f*** ass cracker.”
Whitehead’s Twitter account was suspended after these tweets.
The Browns issued a statement on Sunday night criticizing Whitehead’s social media attacks on Fox:
“Jermaine Whitehead’s social media posts following today’s game were totally unacceptable and highly inappropriate. We immediately spoke with Jermaine upon learning of these comments. The Browns in no way condone that type of language or behavior. This matter will be further addressed internally.”
On Sunday night, Whitehead, knowing he was likely to be disciplined or released, posted a message on Instagram:
“Crazy world. They line it up and say anything in the book too you. They tell you take the high road, when yo whole life you was taught to meet fire with fire. I do apologize for my performance, but having a broke hand and a strong fear of letting my team down is my downfall. Whatever happens, happens.”
He was cut by the team on Monday.
Whitehead grew up in Mississippi and played football at Auburn. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, and has bounced around the league with stops in Baltimore, Green Bay and Cleveland.
Browns safety Morgan Burnett told ESPN that Whitehead was “a good teammate” and “we’re going to miss him.”
“We’re going to miss him because that was a guy that played a lot of snaps for us, a guy that was a good teammate in the locker room. I just feel like it was a situation where his emotions got the best of him,” Burnett said. “We’re going to miss him, but I think for me personally because I played with him in Green Bay, I take it past football and it’s just something where I just want to pray for him, wish him the best and get the help that he needs and pray that he gets back on his feet.
“But as a team, just outside of football, just as a bond of brothers, we’re going to miss him.”