Hours after his poor performance in Sunday's loss at Denver, Whitehead posted profanity-laced and threatening comments on Twitter. The Browns responded by waiving him on Monday morning.
"Jermaine Whitehead's social media posts following today's game were totally unacceptable and highly inappropriate," a Browns spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday night.
Whitehead posted a statement on Instagram apologizing for his performance, but not the tweets.
Whitehead is far from the first player to find himself in hot water on social media. Many others have blazed this unfortunate trail before. We look back at some posts that proved costly in the sports world, concentrating on those that had actual consequences that went beyond mere embarrassment.
(This file was previously published and has been updated).
Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo resigned under pressure after the discovery of anonymous Twitter accounts, reportedly opened by Colangelo's wife, that were used to criticize 76ers players.
Heat owner Micky Arison was fined an unprecedented $500,000 for several tweets he sent during the NBA lockout that suggested a divide and a rift between factions of owners (2011).
Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire was fined $50,000 by the NBA after tweeting a gay slur and an expletive at a fan who criticized Stoudemire's play during the previous season (2012).
Spurs guard Stephen Jackson was fined $25,000 for a hostile, threatening tweet directed at Serge Ibaka in defense of Metta World Peace, with whom Ibaka had gotten into a tussle during a Thunder-Lakers game (2012).
Knicks guard J.R. Smith was fined $25,000 by the NBA for a tweet that went viral featuring a semi-nude woman (2012). He was also fined $25,000 for threatening Pistons guard Brandon Jennings on Twitter (2013).
Chad Shanks, the Rockets' digital communications director, was fired for tweeting emojis of a gun pointed at a horse head, implying that the Rockets were going to eliminate the Mavericks in the playoffs (2015).
Sometimes you can go too far. I will no longer run @HoustonRockets but am grateful to the organization that let me develop an online voice.— Chad Shanks (@chadjshanks) April 29, 2015
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, rated by some as the top quarterback in the 2018 draft, dropped to No. 7 (third quarterback selected) after racially insensitive tweets surfaced from when Allen was a high schooler (2018).
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith recounts the conversation he had with potential No. 1 draft pick Josh Allen after the QB's tweets from high school resurfaced.
Former NFL offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was charged with four felony counts and one misdemeanor count in connection with a threatening Instagram post (2018).
Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis was fired by the team because of a private Instagram post depicting her in lingerie (2018).
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was fined $10,000 for streaming a postgame celebration -- and also capturing coach Mike Tomlin referring to the Patriots as "those a--holes," via Facebook Live (2017).
Scott Van Pelt explains why he is mind-boggled by Antonio Brown 's FaceBook post of the Steelers' locker room speech and considers it an out-of-bounds move.
Bomani Jones wonders what Browns running back Isaiah Crowell was thinking when he posted a drawing on Instagram of a hooded man appearing to put what looks like a machete into the throat of a police officer.
Offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil, considered a candidate to be picked No. 1 in the 2016 NFL draft, dropped to No. 13 after a video surfaced on his Twitter account of Tunsil wearing a gas mask and smoking a substance from a bong (2016).
Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was benched one game for liking Instagram photos of topless women during a game against the Braves (2015).
Mariners catcher Steve Clevenger was suspended the final two weeks of the season for racially insensitive tweets about a Charlotte police shooting victim and the Black Lives Matter movement (2016).
Statement from Jerry Dipoto, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations on Tweets from catcher Steve Clevenger. pic.twitter.com/1xWk6dy5ap— Mariners (@Mariners) September 23, 2016
Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer insinuated that MLB restricted him from using Twitter because of some of his previous political tweeting and run-ins with fans on social media (2018).
Just had a meeting encouraging all players to take a stance and be leaders politically. Here's my stance. I find it disingenuous that @mlb commissioners office would encourage this when they've specifically tried to censor me for sharing my opinion on the matter. #RiseUp— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) March 8, 2018
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader found himself in a firestorm after the All-Star Game when tweets surfaced featuring anti-gay and racist language. MLB said that Hader would have to undergo sensitivity training and participate in its diversity and inclusion initiatives (2018).
Coyotes defenseman Max Domi got heat for questioning "which immigrants were being allowed into Canada" in a now-deleted tweet after a suspected terrorist attack in Edmonton (2017).
Really hope everyone in Edmonton is ok. We're behind you. This is why we have to be aware of some of the people we let into our country. 🇨🇦— Max Domi (@max_domi) October 1, 2017
Switzerland national team player Michel Morganella was kicked off the country's Olympic team and sent home after making racist comments against Koreans on Twitter (2012).
Chelsea forward Kenedy was sent home from the Blues' preseason tour of China for derogatory comments about the Chinese made in a pair of Instagram videos (2017).
French national Samir Nasri was banned for six months by UEFA for a 500-milliliter intravenous drip treatment after photos on social media from a Los Angeles-based IV clinic showed him at the facility (2018).
Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann posed in blackface as a Harlem Globetrotter on Twitter and later apologized after receiving considerable backlash (2017).
United States and Stoke City winger Brek Shea apologized after brandishing guns on Instagram (2013). Shea also was the subject of an internal investigation after being pictured with a severed pig head as part of a "prank" against striker Kenwyne Jones.
I realize I should not have posted the picture earlier yesterday on Instagram. I sincerely apologize to all who were offended by it.— Brek Shea (@BrekShea) June 25, 2013
Burnley striker Andre Gray faced a four-game retroactive suspension related to homophobic posts he made on Twitter in 2012 (2016).
Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo deleted his Twitter account after old tweets from 2011 and 2013, in which he made racial and homophobic slurs, were discovered after his Final Four MVP performance (2018). The impact of the tweets on DiVincenzo's draft stock will remain an open question.
Dan Le Batard says he doesn't like the media treating Villanova's Donte DiVincenzo like a professional athlete by digging into his old tweets.
I love Texas A&M football. I guard it and respect it with my life. I don't take that lightly day to day— Aaron Moorehead (@Amo8685) May 5, 2016
Bradley Patterson, a walk-on long-snapper at North Alabama, was kicked off the team for a racist tweet about President Barack Obama (2012).
Thx 2 everyone who brought the inappropriate tweet to our attention. @UNAAthletics does not condone. He is no longer a member of the team.— Mark Linder (@markdlinder) December 17, 2012
Texas offensive lineman Buck Burnette was kicked off the team by Mack Brown for a racist Facebook post directed at President Obama after Obama won the election (2008).
Michael Phelps was dropped by Kellogg's and given a three-month suspension by USA Swimming after a picture of him taking a hit out of a bong was posted on social media (2009).
Greece triple jumper Voula Papachristou was sent home from the Olympics after making posts on Twitter mocking immigrants from African countries (2012).
Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice, a triple gold medalist, was fired by her sponsor Jaguar after posting a tweet with a homophobic slur (2010).