Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell knew he owed an apology to police officers. After posting a since deleted image of a cop having his throat slit, Crowell offered a donation to The Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation.
The foundation’s president, Sergeant Demetrick Pennie, was not interested in the donation. Instead, he invited Crowell to Dallas to attend the funeral of a fallen police officer killed in a recent attack. Crowell accepted, and on Monday, attended the funeral.
According to Pennie, the talks went well.
“Years of broken communication has facilitated the rise in growth of flawed ideologies about police that we should be on the forefront of addressing,” he said on Facebook. “That is why I elected to meet with Isiah Crowell personally to determine if there was any hope of reforming his thinking. Based on my interactions, I am confident that the policing community now has a supporter in Mr. Crowell. Personally, I would like to commend Isaiah Crowell for the courage of principled accountability.”
Pennie added that the intention was to “educate him (Crowell) about the policing profession and the meaning of police service and sacrifice.”
Anyone wishing to view the image that Crowell posted can do so here. It was awful. Obviously, images like that are not going to do anything to improve relationships between African-Americans and police officers.
With that said, there’s also nothing that can be done to change it. Crowell can’t go back in time and tell himself not to post it. He can, however, take steps to show that his apology was sincere and not just a way of preserving his career (as has been suggested).
Crowell has taken steps in the right direction to do that. It would have been easy to apologize and leave it at that. It would have been easy to simply offer a donation and nothing more. But to go to a police officer’s funeral only days after posting such a violent image? That is not an easy thing to do.
Isaiah Crowell certainly did a stupid thing. But he is showing that he’s committed to make amends for it. Time will tell how sincere he is. For now, though, Crowell is doing the right things.