Cris Carter delivers an emotionally charged message to Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon
Reflecting on his own trials and tribulations with his own battle with alcoholism, Cris Carter reveals to Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe how Josh Gordon can take proactive measures to improve his physical health, mental state and support system now that he has been reinstated to the Cleveland Browns.
- Well, I've been following Josh Gordon's case very close because it's a gut wrenching-- it's a horrible story, but it is our reality. We have people that struggle with all types of addiction, mental illness, but addiction, in particular. And this is what Josh is suffering from and is trying to make the difficult comeback that we've only seen a few people do.
My heart goes out to him. I know what a struggle it's going to be. The struggle is just now beginning, and it's never-- you never will be cured of it. I mean, we will die with this disease called alcoholism and drug addiction. So I'm concerned, just like I'm concerned about my future. And I got almost 27 years in it.
I get concerned every day. I get concerned about the decisions I make, but the most concerning thing for me-- or which alleviates the concern is I have a support system around me. I have people who know me. I have people I can depend on, people I talk to on a regular basis, that I can continue to grow and continue to have success.
I'm worried about Josh going back to Cleveland. And the reason why-- I have a few regrets in my athletic career. And after Buddy Ryan took a chance on me in Philadelphia, drafting me in college, I wish I could have reached my potential in Philadelphia, and that was my fault. But the change of scenery for me, going from Philadelphia, leaving all my friends, and going to Minnesota, where I basically knew no one-- and the Vikings and their staff were more equipped, as far as an employee assistance. They assigned someone to me, who I met with on a weekly basis, several times a week.
So it's beyond the drug test. It's beyond-- it's the environment that be con-- that can be conducive for you to have the power to be able to say no every day. And that is not an easy thing. I'm worried about Josh. I'll be worried about him every day. I don't know if they have the support in Cleveland, the organization. Do they have someone who specializes in drug addiction that's a full-time employee?
Because what the Vikings did for me, they saved my life. They hired a lady, Betty trilogy, when they knew I was coming to the team. They had never had an employee in that department before. They hired her for me. And that right there got me on the road to recovery, which I'm able to sustain 'til today.
So I'm concerned about Josh. I'm concerned about the organization in Cleveland. We saw them botch a trade. They don't have a quarterback, all right. This is not a well-run organization. They have a problem with people who don't have any type of addiction, just normal players. Now, let alone someone like Josh. There's a lot of places in Cleveland that Josh knows about.
NICK WRIGHT: Well, that's where I was--
- There's a lot of relationships that he still has in Cleveland that aren't good for him. So I'm cheering for Josh, and I hope the Browns are able to help him. But this is going to be a fight. This is going to be a struggle. And I can't-- I don't know what's going to happen, but I am pulling for him.