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Johnny Manziel releases statement to issue public apology

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel was released from rehabilitation, where he has spent the better part of several months, earlier this week and on Friday made his his first public comments about his stint in treatment by releasing a statement in which me expresses gratitude for the support he has received over the past several months. The second-year quarterback also issued a public apology to the Cleveland Browns organization and the team’s fans.

The statement in full, which was released by the Browns via its official site.

“I would like to thank my family, friends, the Browns organization, my teammates, and Browns fans everywhere, for your patience, understanding, and support during my stay at Caron. The doctors and staff have been amazing and what I’ve learned in the last couple of months has been tremendous. I owe private apologies to a lot of people that I disappointed but a very public one to the Browns organization and the fans that I let down. I take full responsibility for my actions and it’s my intention to work very hard to regain everyone’s trust and respect. I understand that will take time and will only happen through what I do and not what I say. I also understand there’s a lot of curiosity about this but anyone who has a friend or family-member that’s been through things like this knows it’s an ongoing process. I’m going to continue to ask folks to try to respect my privacy as I determine to what degree I am comfortable talking about a subject which I consider very personal. Most of you have been considerate about that and I thank you for it. I look forward to seeing my teammates next week and focusing on football and my desire to be the best possible player, teammate, and man that I can be.”

This obviously is a bold — and arguably necessary — move by Manziel as he attempts to return to football. Several of Manziel’s teammates, including Joe Thomas, have come out and supported —albeit somewhat reluctantly — the quarterback through his off-the-field ordeal, so the fact that he has taken complete ownership of the issues that arose as a result of his conduct certainly is a positive first step as he transitions from rehabilitating himself to rehabilitating his NFL career. The campaign to restore his image begins now in earnest.

Still, Manziel, a tremendously polarizing figure, deserves credit for attempting to make inroads to restoring his reputation and taking responsibility for his actions, although his future with the Browns organization is uncertain at best no matter how well he pulls out of his harrowing ordeal.