Grading 3 Awful Athletes’ Apologies (or Lack Thereof)

Alex Rodriguez, Ray Rice, and Lance Armstrong plead guilty in the court of public opinion.


Today in FINALLY news, we have athletes releasing two very different formal apologies while a third infamous name chooses to let his lawyers do the talking.

First, Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees finally took the advice we gave him more than a year ago and embarked on an apology tour…sort of.

Via ESPN, we learn that A-Rod wisely decided to write a letter instead of holding a press conference in Yankee Stadium. Said letter reads, in part:

“I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season. I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.

I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job.

“I served the longest suspension in the history of the League for PED use. The Commissioner has said the matter is over. The Players Association has said the same. The Yankees have said the next step is to play baseball.

I’m ready to put this chapter behind me and play some ball.”

Note that Rodriguez’s statement does NOT include a direct admission of guilt — simply a whiny reminder that he served his suspension. Coincidentally, the note arrives on the same day that the guy responsible for giving him steroids earned a four-year sentence in federal prison.

Ray Rice, now-former Baltimore Ravens running back, chose a different sort of forum for his public apology: Facebook. From his note, which follows the Ravens’ decision to let him go after he knocked his wife unconscious:

“This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career. We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl. To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare.

There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue. Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I.”

Unlike Rodriquez, Rice is adamant about his own guilt; we wonder if Hiltzik Strategies, which arranged Janay Rice’s Matt Lauer interview, helped him write this.

Finally, Lance Armstrong has been ordered to pay $10 million for deceiving his promotional agency about his chronic drug use.

The best part about this story is that the company in question, SCA Promotions, lost a case against Armstrong back in 2006 and had to pay him $7 million.

How did Armstrong respond to the latest court decision? Other than his lawyer’s statement calling the decision “unprecedented,” he said nothing. He also has yet to apologize for convincing his girlfriend to take the blame for a drunk driving incident in Aspen earlier this month.

Apologies, Graded

  • D- for A-Rod: He’s so sorry that he still can’t really admit to anything.
  • C+ for Ray Rice: At least he seems to understand what he did wrong.
  • F for Lance Armstrong: We look forward to the pending lawsuits.