An Open Letter To Charles Barkley & Co.: Yes, I have a “problem,” but it’s not the one all of you seem to think it is.

josh gordon

*Everyone has a closet full of demons. But it’s how you manage those demons which determines what path you take in reaching your full human potential. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is no exception.

And because he hasn’t figured out how to control his demons, the talented NFLer is once again facing a season-long suspension for failing a league-mandated drug test, though it was for merely consuming alcohol.

He’s not the first, nor will he be the last to lose so much over alcohol and drugs. It was his frequent marijuana use that got him under such a tight microscope before failing his latest drug test.

Since then, everyone from Charles Barkley to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Cris Carter have weighed in on Gordon, and now he’s ready to speak in an open letter written on The Cauldron:

I have let down many in Cleveland — my Browns teammates, our hard-working coaching staff, the team’s ownership, and the loyal fan base that wants nothing more than to win.

Also, I have disappointed the family and close friends who have always stood by me — no matter how tough things have been at certain points in my life. Believe me, there have been more dark days than I care to remember.

Most importantly, I have failed myself. Again.

But you know what, Charles, Stephen A., Cris and everyone else? I also have succeeded.

I succeeded by escaping a youth riddled with poverty, gang violence and very little in the way of guidance or support. I succeeded by narrowly avoiding a life of crime that managed to sink its clutches into almost all of my childhood friends. I succeeded by working tremendously hard on my craft and my body to even have a chance to play professional football for a living.

Read the full letter here.