ESPN analyst Rex Ryan blasted Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper on the air this morning, calling him “a turd.” Shortly thereafter, ESPN promoted the clip on social media, attempting to stir up a little attention for Ryan’s commentary.
After giving it some thought, ESPN realized Ryan’s comment was inappropriate, and Ryan gave what seemed like a forced apology.
“I can’t believe I said that, used that word,” Ryan said on SportsCenter a few hours after he initially made the comment. “Obviously it was a poor choice by me to say what I said about Amari. Anybody who knows me — look, quite honestly, I think the world of every player and have a great deal of respect for every single player in the National Football League, including Amari Cooper. With that being said, I think the Cowboys overspent for Amari Cooper. The reason for it is, I don’t doubt that this is an elite player. He has those traits. But an elite player to me shows up on the road, he shows up against great corners, and he shows up in crunch time, and those are three things that Amari Cooper has not done so far in his career. In fact, I think he’s won one playoff game as a player. And all of those things are how I feel about this young man as a receiver. But what I added at the end of that, I want to apologize to Amari again and hope he accepts my apology.”
That Ryan went immediately from apologizing to repeating his criticism of Cooper as a player makes the apology sound somewhat insincere. So it would be understandable if Cooper says he does not accept the apology.