BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – A month after coming clean on his fight with addiction, Josh Gordon opened up again in an extensive interview with GQ which hit the internet Monday.
Gordon admitted in the interview, which took place hours before his meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last Wednesday in New York, that he had something in his system, “Probably every game of my career,” and that he consumed drugs and alcohol before arriving at the stadium for games throughout his college and pro career.
Gordon also explained that he had to leave Cleveland in order to begin his road to recovery and ultimately back to the NFL because things became so toxic for him in northeast Ohio when it came to dealing with fans.
“I went to Gainesville specifically because I thought there’d be nobody there that would know who I was,” Gordon said. “Living in Cleveland, sometimes it could be a nightmare. I’ve been harassed, had drinks thrown at me. I’ve been [followed] in the grocery store, heckled everywhere. At the games, people harassed and heckled my brothers and my mom. [My] brothers got into fights in the stands. Cars [have] been jumped on. Somebody dented the hood of the car. Had to sue a guy and get the money back cause he damaged the car. People are throwing money, pennies, to break the windows. So Cleveland was rough, man.”
Gordon added, “These are Cleveland fans. That experience followed me everywhere I went,” Gordon said. “So I’m always like: Who recognizes me? Like, Josh, nobody knows who the f— you are. You play for the Browns. That still is tough to deal with. But the more I do all this stuff and let people know exactly what I’m going through, the more I hope people can let the kids be.”
Gordon, who was conditionally reinstated last week by Goodell, also talked about the difficulties of dealing with the pressure that comes with playing in the NFL.
“Everything is an immediate gratification process,” Gordon said. “Especially for fans. If you don’t produce, you’re fired, you’re done. It’s so hard to try to take that and then add the humanity. I came into the NFL at 20 years old. I couldn’t imagine many people doing that type of thing with success. Give guys a chance. Be patient. Allow him to see it through. If he lets you down, he lets you down. But know that’s a human being there. He’s dealing with something.”
Gordon is scheduled to report to the Browns Tuesday where he’ll begin working out and attending team meetings. He can begin practicing on Nov. 20 and his first return to game action is tentatively set for Dec. 3 at the LA Chargers barring any setbacks – on or off the field.