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Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon releases first statement since his reinstatement

Related: Josh Gordon’s reinstatement is so much bigger than football

New York Giants v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

On August 16, New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon was reinstated from the indefinite suspension that kept him away from the team since last December. He officially rejoined the club a few days later and since then has been working on getting ready for the new season. What Gordon did not do, however, was step in front of the media to discuss his rehabilitation process and return to the Patriots organization.

Today, he broke his silence when he took to Twitter to release the following statement on his return:

Before the 2019 season starts, I would like to address an issue that arose toward the end of last season. It’s been well documented that I have battled substance abuse for quite some time. Unfortunately, I did not take the time to focus on a solution to my problem until this past year. I am entirely grateful for the constant support from the NFL, NFLPA and the Patriots organization. I also want to thank my family, friends and all the fans who supported me while I addressed this issue. Going forward, I will not be discussing the details of my past. I plan to focus on the present and getting better every day. I hope people will judge me on what I do now and in the future. I look forward to being a member of the Patriots once again this season and doing my part by contributing on and off the field.

As has been written before, Gordon’s reinstatement is much bigger than football and his statement puts further emphasis on this point of view: he acknowledges the issues that have followed him for quite some time now, and appears willing to fight them for the sake of himself and his career — one that will see its next chapter written on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers; coincidentally the final team against which Gordon played last year.