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Josh Gordon responds to Charles Barkley and other critics in open letter

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Whether it has been NBA legend Charles Barkley, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, or NFL great Cris Carter, many members of the media weighed in on Josh Gordon's latest dilemma with the NFL, and now Gordon is speaking up.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Gordon is done being quiet.

The embattled Cleveland Browns receiver is once again facing a season-long suspension for failing a league-mandated drug test, though it was for merely consuming alcohol. While rules are rules, you kind of have to feel a little bad for Gordon for losing millions of dollars, as well as the right to play football, over a few drinks.

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

Since then, everyone from NBA great 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.

It's a good read in which Gordon tries to open up regarding his life for the world to see, in hopes they'll see him as something other than the drug addict and alcoholic many have made him out to be.