Michael Irvin offered a powerful defense of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon during an interview with the Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday. More specifically, Irvin spoke out against fellow Hall of Famer Cris Carter in the wake of Carter’s assertion that the Browns should cut Gordon.
Carter compared Gordon’s situation to his own, with the Philadelphia Eagles having cut Carter in 1990. Carter credits Buddy Ryan for giving him the motivation to get sober and get his life on track by releasing him. Irvin cautioned that the tough love approach doesn’t work for everyone.
“Dan, this is a brain disease. Addiction is a brain disease,” Irvin told Le Batard, via Ryan Cortes of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach. “You know, we act as if someone should…How can you make that decision? You must be stupid. He’s not. That’s why they call substances dope. Because it makes you less intelligent and you make the poor decision. It’s a brain disease. And it affects everybody differently.
“Now, isolation for Cris may have been the best thing. Separation, for Cris, may have been the best thing. For Josh, maybe it’s the worst thing…”
Irvin then got personal. The former Dallas Cowboys star’s cocaine addiction in the 1990s was well-documented. Irvin was a known party animal who used cocaine and then dominated on Sundays. During that time, he claims Carter told his wife to leave him.
“I’m going to put a little personal on this even though I love Cris to death,” Irvin said. “I don’t know what year it was we were in the Pro Bowl. And all Cris is trying to do, he’s just trying to share his experiences. He said to my wife, ‘You know, Michael would never come out of this problem until you leave him.’ Till you leave him.
“For years, I’ve held it. I’ve never shared that with anybody. I’ve never in my life shared that with anybody. I was so irked with Cris because he was out of line then. His ass is out of line now. He is out of line.”
While it doesn’t sound like Carter had terrible intentions when he allegedly told Irvin’s wife to leave him, you can see why Irvin is angry. Just because Carter credits his release from the Eagles for getting his life on track doesn’t mean that approach works for everyone. Having said that, Gordon’s path gets worse by the day. Something has to be done.