Calling his Twitter outburst "totally out of character," former Cleveland Browns safety Jermaine Whitehead apologized on his Instagram account Tuesday for his profanity-laced and threatening comments on social media following Sunday's loss at Denver.
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🙏🏾 I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my actions following our game with Denver. 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!
The Browns waived Whitehead in response to his social media rant Monday morning.
Shortly after the game in Denver ended, Whitehead responded on Twitter to those who had criticized his play, including to former NFL player Dustin Fox, who appears on a postgame show for the Browns' radio network.
In response to Fox's criticism, Whitehead wrote, "Come get it in blood b---- made ass lil boy. I'm out there with a broke hand .. don't get smoked ... "
Whitehead also wrote, "Imma kill you b----.. that's on blood" to another Twitter user.
Whitehead's Twitter account was suspended before he'd even left the visitors locker room. He declined to take questions from reporters.
Whitehead, 26, is in his fourth NFL season after going undrafted out of Auburn in 2015. The Browns claimed him on waivers in November 2018, one day after the Green Bay Packers released him following an ejection for slapping an opponent in the face mask.
"Jermaine Whitehead's social media posts following today's game were totally unacceptable and highly inappropriate," a Browns spokesperson said in a statement Sunday night.
Browns safety Morgan Burnett, who also played with Whitehead in Green Bay, said Monday that he hoped the safety could find outside support.
"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."
Burnett, however, said he understood that the Browns couldn't tolerate Whitehead's posts.
"We all have to do a job," he said. "We all are held accountable and held to a certain standard no matter where we are within the organization. They stand behind the brand and I think that's just part of being a professional. You have to carry yourself a certain way even at times when you feel like your buttons are being pushed, you still have young people, young kids looking up to us and watching everything we say and the way we move.''