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Josh Gordon fires back at critics, explains failed test

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Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon made his first comments Thursday since news emerged of his impending year-long suspension. The words came in written form, and they are fascinating.

Gordon repeatedly says that he failed himself and takes responsibility for his poor decisions. He also takes some of his most public critics to task for speaking about him without knowing the details of his problems.

We highly recommend reading the piece yourself on Medium.com. While Gordon surely had help crafting the first-person account, it's a compelling and well-done read of his troubles of the last few years. Gordon says he has years worth of drug tests to prove he hasn't smoked marijuana since 2012. And he explains how he failed his latest test, which was for alcohol.

"As a strict condition to my reinstatement in Week 12, I had to agree not only to abstain from drinking for the rest of the season, but also to submit to an alcohol screen as part of my in-season drug testing under the league's substance-abuse protocol. Did I think that was excessive given I had never had any issue whatsoever with alcohol? Yes," Gordon writes. "Did I think it was hypocritical that a professional league making hundreds of millions of dollars off beer sponsorships was telling me not to drink? Yes. Did I so much as blink at the condition? No."

Gordon says he drank two beers and two drinks on a plane to Las Vegas after the season ended, which were his first drinks since his July 4 DWI. But Gordon was still subject to testing.

"It doesn't matter if I thought that the league-imposed restriction on drinking had expired at the end of the regular season; what matters is that I didn't confirm whether or not that was the case. Now, that oversight has further jeopardized my relationship with my team and our fans, my reputation, and maybe even my career," Gordon writes.

Some people have made up their mind on Gordon, and this letter only paints one side of the story. But it's an important side to hear, and many of the comments about his background directed at his critics are worth reading before deciding for yourself.

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