1 of 52Timothy A. Clary,Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images
Hardly a week goes by that some athlete or sports personality isn't apologizing, but few come close to the level of wrongdoing that Lance Armstrong finally admitted to in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. In acknowledging that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, Armstrong said: "It's a major flaw, and it's a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted and to control every outcome. And it's inexcusable. And when I say there are people who will hear this and never forgive me, I understand that. I do. ... That defiance, that attitude, that arrogance, you cannot deny it."
2 of 52Ray Stubblebine/Reuters
Yankees slugger Jorge Posada
After removing himself from the lineup following a demotion to the No. 9 spot in the Yankees' batting order: "I had a bad day," he said. "All the frustration came out. It was just one of those days you wish you could take back."
3 of 52Steve Mitchell/US Presswire
Heat forward LeBron James
Ten months after "The Decision," James finally apologized for the way he so extravagantly exited Cleveland: "I went through a lot with deciding to be here [in Miami], and the way it panned out, with all the friends and family and the fans back home [in Cleveland]," James said after the Heat beat the Celtics to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. "I apologize for the way it happened. But I knew that this opportunity was once in a lifetime."
4 of 52Chris Carlson/AP
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant
After he issued a gay slur at referee Bennie Adams that was caught on TNT's national telecast: "My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period," he said. "The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone."
5 of 52Lori Moffett-Pool/Getty Images
Golfer Tiger Woods
After disappearing from public view following several allegations of marital infidelity: "I was unfaithful. I had affairs, I cheated. What I did is not acceptable and I am the only person to blame. ... I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior."
6 of 52Matt Slocum/AP
Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas
After admitting to storing personal firearms in the Wizards' locker room: "Joke or not, I now recognize that what I did was a mistake and was wrong. I should not have brought the guns to DC in the first place, and I now realize that there's no such thing as joking around when it comes to guns -- even if unloaded."
7 of 52Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Cardinals coach Mark McGwire
After admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998: "It's time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 offseason and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the '90s, including during the 1998 season. "I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era."
8 of 52David E. Klutho/SI
Louisville coach Rick Pitino
After admitting to an extramarital affair in his testimony to the FBI: "I let them [my wife and five children] down with my indiscretion six years ago. And I'm sorry for that and I tell them that every day."
9 of 52Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Swimmer Michael Phelps
After photos in Britain's News of the World showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe: "I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in the statement released by one of his agents. "I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."
10 of 52AP
Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez
After Sports Illustrated broke the story that Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003, the Yankee slugger sat down with ESPN's Peter Gammons to set the record straight. "Back then, it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that, you know, I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time. And I did take a banned substance. You know, for that I'm very sorry and deeply regretful."
11 of 52Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Tennessee QB Vince Young
After photos surfaced showing Vince Young and former Texas teammates enjoying a night out and drinking, including one shot of Young shirtless: "I apologize to some of the kids if they did see it because I am trying to be a role model for them. But at the same time, I was just trying to have fun. [But] that is the life of a quarterback, somebody of my status. It is not going to stop me from having fun. I just have to watch myself.''
12 of 52Robert Beck/SI
Mets manager Willie Randolph
After voicing concerns about the Mets television network, SNY, and the team's fans, and suggesting that race plays a role in how he is portrayed by SNY and how fans perceive his dugout demeanor. "First of all, I want to apologize to Met ownership, SNY and my team for the unnecessary distraction that I created, that I caused the last couple of days. I shouldn't have said what I said. It was a mistake. Simple as that, it was a mistake. There's no excuses for that. No excuses for it. I'm owning up to it."
13 of 52AP
After rumors swirled of marital impropriety with country singer Mindy McCready. "I know that many people want to know what I have to say about the recent articles in the media. Even though these articles contain many false accusations and mistakes, I need to say that I have made mistakes in my personal life for which I am sorry."
14 of 52Chuck Solomon/SI
Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte
Addressing the media at spring training about his admission that he used human growth hormone to recover from injuries in 2002 and 2004. He emphasized he never used steroids. "I am sorry. I know in my heart why I did things. I know that God knows that. I know that I'm going to have to stand before him one day. The truth hurts sometimes and you don't want to share it. The truth will set you free. I'm going to be able to sleep a lot better."
15 of 52AP
Patriots coach Bill Belichick
Following a discussion with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the Patriots interpretation of sideline videotaping procedures. "Although it remains a league matter, I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff and players."
16 of 52AP
Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick
After pleading guilty to a dogfighting conspiracy charge. "I want to personally apologize to commissioner Goodell, Arthur Blank, Coach Bobby Petrino, my teammates, you know, for our previous discussions that we had. And I was not honest and forthright in our discussions, and, you know, I was ashamed and totally disappointed in myself to say the least. ... I totally ask for forgiveness and understanding as I move forward to bettering Michael Vick the person, not the football player."
17 of 52AP
Radio personality Don Imus
Don Imus after calling the Rutgers women's basketball players a bunch of ''nappy-headed hos.'' "Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far."
18 of 52Bob Rosato/SI
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa
After police found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle and later arrested him on a charge of drunken driving: "I'm not sure what type of statement to give. Last night's situation is the opposite of feeling good. It was an embarrassment, so I apologize..."
19 of 52David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images
Cleveland center Scot Pollard
After being chastised for looking into a camera during a March 2007 game and saying, "Hey kids, do drugs. "It was a bad joke," he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer . "That's all it boils down to. Obviously, I don't believe that."
20 of 52AP
Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell
After saying on the air that a female referee should "go back to the kitchen" after he found fault with one of her calls: "If I said anything that might have been insensitive or sexist in any way, then I apologize because she worked extremely hard to get where she is now."
21 of 52Manny Millan/SI
Former NBA star Tim Hardaway
After he said on a radio show that he hates gay people: "As an African-American, I know all too well the negative thoughts and feelings hatred and bigotry cause. I regret and apologize for the statements that I made that have certainly caused the same kinds of feelings and reactions."
22 of 52Al Tielemans/SI
Former Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter
After being ejected during the pregame prior to a Steelers-Browns game in Cleveland: "It was stupid on my part, and I never should have let [it] go that far. By me not being able to play, I feel like I hurt the team."
23 of 52Reinhold Matay/WireImage.com
Broadcaster Michael Irvin
After saying on the Dan Patrick Show that current Cowboys QB Tony Romo's ability must be because of some African-American heritage: "Dan. You know, my whole thing -- what I always try to do, Dan -- is give people first-hand knowledge of what it's like in the locker room and how we as players joke around with one another. This is how I joke around with Romo -- when we're playing basketball... But there's a difference from me the player and me the broadcaster. ... Certainly, I needed to draw the line last week and I did not, so I apologize for that."
24 of 52Chuck Solomon/SI
Broadcaster Steve Lyons
After he made comments directed at colleague Lou Piniella's Hispanic heritage that Fox Sports said were inappropriate: "If I offended anybody, I'm truly sorry. But my comment about Lou taking my wallet was a joke and in no way racially motivated."
25 of 52AP
French soccer player Zinedine Zidane
After headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final: "It was inexcusable, and I apologize. But I can't regret what I did because it would mean that he was right to say all that."
26 of 52Don Lansu/WireImage.com
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen
After being fined by MLB for using a derogatory term to describe Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti: "I'm not going to change. One thing I'm going to make clear is I apologize to the community, but to Jay, no chance. This thing is on and on for good."
27 of 52AP
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf
Following his players' role in an alleged sex party aboard charter boats on Lake Minnetonka: "The behavior exhibited lately by members of this organization does not reflect the values of this community.... I feel that as an organization, we have let them down. And for that, I apologize."
28 of 52Elsa/Getty Images
Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers
After lashing out at cameramen as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame stretching: "This incident was completely out of character, and I think, without question, that you know that it will never happen again."
29 of 52AP
Former Temple coach John Chaney
After putting a player in a game for the explicit purpose of committing rough fouls: "I would like to apologize to Saint Joseph's University, its fans, student-athletes and head coach Phil Martelli for my reprehensible behavior."
30 of 52Chuck Solomon/SI
Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi
After it was reported that he told a grand jury he took steroids for three seasons: "There's been a lot of distraction, definitely, over the last year, and I'm sorry for that, I really am. I feel I let down the fans, I feel I let down the media, I feel I let down the Yankees -- not only the Yankees, but my teammates. I accept full responsibility for that."
31 of 52AP
Spain's national coach Luis Aragones
After coming under fire for using abusive and racist language against French national striker Thierry Henry: "I have a very clear and calm conscience. I have never been a racist and I have several friends who are black. ... In England they do not understand my techniques to inspire my players."
32 of 52AP
Then Pacers-star Ron Artest
After one of the worst brawls in the history of U.S. sports, during a game at Detroit in which players fought with fans: "I take part of the ownership for what happened. So I did a lot of damage to myself that I am going to correct. ... Things happen. The beer cup was thrown. You can't take it back, because it happened already, so the best thing to do is move on and I forgive everyone that did things towards me. People who kind of got my emotions to run a little bit high, I've forgiven."
33 of 52Damian Strohmeyer/SI
NFL linebacker Junior Seau
After uttering an anti-gay slur in front of Miami fans and others at the Dolphins annual banquet: "I said some hurtful words, and it's a sad day.... I learned a lesson. I know that. The things we say, the words, are very powerful and they can be very hurtful."
34 of 52AP
NBA guard Kobe Bryant
After sexual assault charges stemming from his involvement with a Colorado woman were dropped: "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did."
35 of 52AP
Pop star Janet Jackson
After her breast was exposed during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime performance with Justin Timberlake: "It was not my intention that it go as far as it did. I apologize to anyone offended..." (On the other hand, Timberlake told Access Hollywood, laughingly: "Hey, man, we love giving you all something to talk about.")
36 of 52Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Former major leaguer Pete Rose
After denying for years that he bet on baseball: "I'm sure that I'm supposed to act all sorry or sad or guilty now that I've accepted that I've done something wrong. But you see, I'm just not built that way .... I'm sorry it happened, and I'm sorry for all the people, fans and family that it hurt. Let's move on."
37 of 52AP
NFL wideout Randy Moss
After he blocked a traffic control agent, pushing her backwards with his Lexus when she attempted to keep him from making a turn on a downtown street: "I think if anything that I could do different, I really should have stopped. I mean, I really didn't think I did anything wrong. I could see if I hit the woman, or she jumped up on my hood and I took her for a ride, or anything like that. But no such thing like that happened. So I'm apologizing for what happened and how it happened. But apologizing to her? I didn't do nothing to apologize for, you know what I'm saying?"
38 of 52AP
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart
After receiving a penalty -- and throwing a temper tantrum in the garage -- for ignoring a black flag near the end of the Pepsi 400: "While I still disagree with the black-flag penalty, I accept the fine and probation that NASCAR has issued to me as a result of my postrace conduct. For others I may have offended following the race, I regret that also."
39 of 52AP
Former Knicks guard Charlie Ward
After making anti-Semitic comments about Jews to the New York Times : "I'm very grateful that this incident happened because the Lord orchestrated it to where I needed to find out more about different people. I wanted to, but I just didn't know how to."
40 of 52John W. McDonough/SI
Former coach Bob Knight
After various transgressions at Indiana: "I've always been too confrontational, especially when I know I'm right. I know as well as anybody does I have to develop a more diplomatic approach."
41 of 52Ronald C. Modra/SI
Former major league pitcher John Rocker
After his tirade against immigrants and homosexuals in a Sports Illustrated story : "Even though it might appear otherwise from what I've said, I am not a racist. I should not have said what I did because it is not what I believe in my heart."
42 of 52John Biever/SI
Former NFL safety Eugene Robinson
After being arrested and charged with soliciting an undercover police officer for sex on the eve of Super Bowl XXXIII: "I don't have the desire to say, 'Hey, look at me. I'm a good guy. It's deeper than that.... It means going to people, looking them in the eye and apologizing. You talk to them and be real, then leave it at that."
43 of 52Jack Atley/Getty Images
Tennis star Martina Hingis
After being quoted as saying of fellow pro Amelie Mauresmo (picturd at right, with Hingis), "She travels with her girlfriend, she is half a man.": "A half-man? Who would say that? She's a girl, she's playing tennis ... She has got a lot of topspin and it's not ... that she is a man but she plays really like a man, the way she plays. That's what we were saying."
44 of 52AP
Former NBA star Latrell Sprewell
After choking and threatening then-coach P.J. Carlesimo during practice: "I am a good person and I've never had any situation like this come up before. I feel 10 years of hard work shouldn't be taken away for one mistake. I know this conduct is not acceptable in society and professional sports. I accept responsibility for what I've done."
45 of 52AP
Broadcaster Marv Albert
After being arrested and charged with sexual assault for biting a woman on the back more than a dozen times: "I'm sorry if she felt she was harmed."
46 of 52John W. McDonough/SI
Former NBA All-Star Dennis Rodman
After making derogatory comments about Mormons while in Salt Lake City for the NBA Finals: "That was a bad action on my part. So we retract that. Like I said, I would have said it if we were in Houston or anything else. But if I knew it was like a religious-type deal, I would have never said it. I'm sorry about that."
47 of 52V.J. Lovero/SI
Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson
After biting off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear: "Saturday night was the worst night of my professional career as a boxer. I'm here to apologize today, to ask the people to expect more from Mike Tyson, to forgive me snapping in the ring, and doing something that I've never done before and will never do again."
48 of 52AP
Former Olympic skater Tonya Harding
After the attack on fellow Nancy Kerrigan by Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and others: "Hopefully Nancy [Kerrigan] will forgive me for all this crap that's going on."
49 of 52Bill Frakes/SI
Former Reds owner Marge Schott
After a former team marketing director said in a deposition that Schott called former Reds outfielders Eric Davis and Dave Parker "million-dollar n------" and that she kept a swastika arm band at home: "I am not a racist."
50 of 52Ronald C. Modra/SI
Disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson
After he denied he had taken the steroids found in his system at the 1988 Seoul Olympics: "I said I'm sorry. What else can I say? I lied and I've admitted it -- life goes on."
51 of 52Perry McIntyre/WireImage.com
Former betting line analyst Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder
After creating a national uproar with his explanation of why he thought African-Americans excelled in sports: "I'm truly sorry for my remarks earlier today and I offer a full, heartfelt apology to all I may have offended."
52 of 52AP
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner
After the Yankees fell to the Dodgers in the 1981 World Series: "I want to sincerely apologize to the people of New York and to the fans of the New York Yankees everywhere for the performance of the Yankee team in the World Series. I also want to assure you that we will be at work immediately to prepare for 1982.''
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