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Carter apologizes for remarks to rookies

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In his first television appearance since his controversial remarks came to light over the weekend, ESPN analyst Cris Carter on Monday apologized for telling rookies they should have a “fall guy” when they get in trouble.

The Hall of Fame wide receiver has been lambasted for an NFL-approved video in which he told new NFC players at the 2014 NFL Rookie Symposium that it was important to have friends who would take the rap if the players got in legal trouble.

“In case y’all not going to decide to do the right thing, if y’all got a crew, you’ve got to have a fall guy in the crew,” Carter told the rookies. “Y’all not going to all do the right stuff now. So I’ve got to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you’re going to have a crew, one of them fools got to know he going to jail. We’ll get him out.”

On ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown,” the Hall of Fame wide receiver said, “My heart was in the right place. I didn’t use words that I was very proud of. It’s not the kind of advice I would offer young people. I would never tell young people to break the law to avoid prosecution. It was bad advice. I really regret my words.”

The video was discovered in NFL.com’s archives in the wake of an ESPN story on retired linebacker Eric Borland, who relayed Carter’s comments without naming Carter. In the story, Borland said he was incredulous to hear that advice and wondered, “Should I walk out? What am I supposed to do?”

On Sunday, ESPN and the NFL denounced Carter’s advice.

ESPN said in a statement, “We completely disagree with Cris’ remarks, and we have made that extremely clear to him. Those views were entirely his own and do not reflect our company’s point of view in any way.”

The NFL said, “The comment was not representative of the message of the symposium or any other league program. The league’s player engagement staff immediately expressed concern about the comment to Cris. The comment was not repeated in the 2014 AFC session or this year’s symposium.”

Carter tweeted an apology on Sunday, “Seeing that video has made me realize how wrong I was. I was brought there to educate young people and instead I gave them very bad advice. Every person should take responsibility for his actions. I’m sorry and I truly regret what I said that day.”

Carter, who said he has spoken to rookies at the symposium 15-20 times over the years, said Monday, “I hope I learn from it, and I hope it makes me better.”


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