Hall of Famer Cris Carter has apologized for comments advising players at the 2014 NFC rookie symposium to have a “fall guy” ready to accept blame should they encounter legal trouble.
“Seeing that video has made me realize how wrong I was,” Carter wrote Sunday night in a series of tweets. “I was brought there to educate young people and instead I gave them very bad advice. Every person should take responsibility for his own actions. I'm sorry and I truly regret what I said that day.”
Though the comments were made more than a year ago, the NFL did not take a stance until attention was called to video of Carter speaking at the event, which was originally posted on NFL.com. It has since been removed.The NFL issued a response to Carter's original comments earlier Sunday.
“This was an unfortunate and inappropriate comment made by Cris Carter during the 2014 NFC rookie symposium,” the NFL’s statement 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.”
In a recent ESPN the Magazine story, former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borlandrevealed he was told by a former NFL player to have a “fall guy,” which the video shows was Carter. The former receiver now works as an ESPN analyst. The network also denounced Carter's comments in a statement.
“We completely disagree with Cris’s remarks and we have made that extremely clear to him,” ESPN stated later Sunday. “Those views were entirely his own and do not reflect our company’s point of view in any way.”
Carter appears in the video talking to a group of 2014 rookies alongside former defensive tackle and fellow Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. Carter brings Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the stage at one point to ask him if he has a fall guy for when he gets into trouble.
“You all are not going to all do the right stuff,” Carter says in the video. “So I got to teach you all how to get around all this stuff too. If you're going to have a crew, one of those fools got to know he's going to jail. We'll get him out.” His final comment is then echoed by Sapp.
You can watch the video of Carter's comments below.
- Jeremy Woo