Cleveland Browns kick returner Josh Cribbs has apologized for a tweet he deleted from his account in response to other tweets he received for muffing a punt that led to a Broncos' touchdown during Sunday's loss.
Cribbs tweeted: "I see all the negativity on twitter after I gave my life to this [stuff]. So 2 all u who are against me (Expletive) all y'all. I'm still gonna do me!"
Cribbs was chastised by coach Pat Shurmur, who made it clear he didn't want players to use social media to verbally attack fans.
Cribbs responded by sending a tweet that cited "a new breed of haters out there disguised as fans," which he also deleted. He said Wednesday he'll "redeem" himself with his play against the Steelers on Sunday.
"I deleted [the tweets] because it was the right thing to do," he said on Wednesday. "I was mad at myself and how we lost and how I played. I felt that a lot of people believed my words were directed toward the fans in general. Word travels fast and can get distorted. I don't think the fans have turned on me. They want me to be successful so bad that they voice their frustration the wrong way when I'm not.
"It's not impossible not to respond, but I play with so much passion. It's not one of my characteristics to be passionless. I play the game with so much heart and soul and my teammates do the same. I've played my whole life for this opportunity. The comments I made were out of frustration."
Cribbs reiterated he wants to finish his career in Cleveland. He is playing out the final season of a three-year contract and is slated to be a free agent. He has remained one of the team's most popular players, having won the fan vote for the Pro Bowl's AFC special teams player.
Cribbs added he's receiving mixed messages from Cleveland's fans.
"A lot of people say, 'you suck' in one breath and in the next breath say, 'You the man. I love you.'"
Originally posted by Marty Gitlin on CBSSports.com