Troubled Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon will enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility to deal with his problems with alcohol. Gordon, a young man in the spotlight, is hardly alone in making this kind of choice to help him get control of his life. Many athletes have made the necessary choice to step away from the game in order to gain the strength, perspective and discipline needed to succeed. Unusual in Gordon’s statement, however, is that the young man makes no reference to anyone but himself as his reason for undertaking the change. (He does thank various groups, like his teammates, for their support.)
Gordon’s referencing only himself is a very positive sign. Most athletes (CC Sabathia, for example) reference their “families and loved ones” as part of the reason they are seeking sobriety. Those are good reasons, too, not to be slighted — but recovery is ultimately a lonesome road with one traveler, however much support one receives. Gordon writes simply that this is “the right decision for me” (emphasis ours). He writes that he hopes the decision “will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person.” It’s often said that today’s athletes are too self-directed, if not downright selfish. But this is an instance where in taking full responsibility for himself, Josh Gordon gives himself the very best chance of winning — both for himself and, ultimately, his team and the people around him.
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WR Josh Gordon is entering an in-patient rehabilitation facility. pic.twitter.com/pv7ZD5KZuB
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 29, 2016