CLEVELAND—In what many claim is further evidence pointing to the NFL’s growing problem with its locker-room culture, sources confirmed Monday that former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was forced to wear a Cleveland Browns jersey as part of a particularly cruel form of rookie hazing. “The recent incident, in which a rookie was subjected to an extreme form of public humiliation, is unacceptable and goes against the values we stand for as an organization,” read an official team statement, responding to allegations that the first-year quarterback was made to wear the utterly demeaning outfit for several consecutive hours in full view of teammates, media members, and spectators. “We fully intend to impress upon all of our players that this type of ‘rite of passage’ can lead to significant emotional and psychological damage, and it has absolutely no place in football. We have reached out to Johnny and his family, and we hope that he will be able to move on from this and that his teammates may begin to slowly regain his trust.” Sources say the Browns are also investigating whether bullying may have been at play after discovering that 2014 first-round pick Justin Gilbert was recently forced to purchase a home in Cleveland.
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