I read an article in the Chron this morning in which Raiders LB Rolando McClain apologizes: “I apologize for the bad publicity that has been put out there,” he was quoted as saying.

Wow, that’s ¬†quite an apology.

He never says, “I apologize for what I did.”

That direct statement would have been good but perhaps because his case is on appeal he can’t say that.

He might have said, “I apologize for this whole incident,” or “I apologize for any embarrassment I’ve caused my team.”

He didn’t say any of that.

A little grammar here. I’m shaky on my grammar so please correct me if I’m wrong. He is using a passive verb form –” has been put out there.”

Passive verbs are usually used when the cause of the action in a sentence is unknown as in “The murder was committed by some lunatic,” or when when a speaker or writer wishes to conceal or de-emphasize the performer of the action of a sentence and leave the cause of the action vague.

According to the grammar of McClain’s statement, he appears to be apologizing for the bad publicity someone else (not named) may have put out there about him and the team. Forget that he himself is the cause of the bad publicity. He obscures that.

Apologizing for bad publicity is a far cry from the pickle he’s in, convicted of four misdemeanors for things a judge concluded he actually did — in an active way, not passive. It implies the worst part of this thing is the publicity, not what he is convicted of doing. If no one had known about it — no publicity — it wouldn’t be so bad.

I can’t stand when athletes say, “I take full responsibility,” as if speaking the words is the same as taking an action. In this case, McClain might have at least said that.



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  1. Tiburon Dave

    As was the case with Jamarcus, it does not appear that Rolando is the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    That said…the ‘New’ Raiders had an opportunity to make a statement here about the behavior of their employees…so much for the ‘New’ Raiders…

    It should be noted that Plaxico Burris did hard time for shooting himself in the leg by accident…the gun never even left his pocket…

    Mr. McClain is continuing to smirk at the world…that may pass as ‘funnin’ in Alabama but it’s just another disgrace for the Raiders and Oakland in general…

    May 23rd, 2012 10:41 am

  2. Mark M

    I don’t know why athletes apologize at all for anything. It means nothing to me. Actions always define character. Just clean up your act Mr. McClain! The full responsibility statements drive me crazy!

    May 23rd, 2012 11:19 am

  3. MJ

    Dave… Plax incident was because he was carrying a gun in NYC without a permit (concealed too)…a HUGGGEEE no-no in NY. You have to be a foreign diplomat to get away with something of that nature.

    Not to excuse the alleged actions of Rolando, but apples and oranges.

    May 23rd, 2012 11:26 am

  4. Kathy

    Your grammar analysis is correct, and I agree completely with your post. I’d rather miscreants keep their mouths shut than treat the public like idiots with these nonapologies.

    A sincere apology is delivered in the active voice, not the passive voice: I’m sorry I did ‘x’. I offended you and I’m very sorry about that.

    And it should never include the word “if,” as in “if anyone was offended.”

    If one feels an apology is necessary, assume that someone has indeed been offended, and the offender is you!

    Really, it’s not that hard. “I’m sorry my actions brought shame and dishonor to the Raider name. I was wrong.”

    May 23rd, 2012 11:29 am

  5. Capts

    “New Raiders,” “Same NFL.” There has been a noticeable culture shift in the Raiders organization, but I guess, like all NFL teams, if they see something they can get out of McClain they’ll overlook idiotic behavior. As of now, most Raider fans can’t stand the guy. Raider message boards are full of outrage of the guy’s perceived lack of caring about this incident and this great opportunity.
    @Tib Dave Why is Oakland, the city, disgraced because of this? Is SF a disgrace because an (alleged) rapist is on the 49ers? Overlooking ridiculous and criminal behavior is a professional sports problem, which is getting out of hand.

    May 23rd, 2012 12:29 pm

  6. B-Rad

    I believe that McClain is a bit too obtuse to be thinking on the level which
    you would have liked to have seen.
    I believe that Dennis Allen, or someone else in the organization, suggested
    that it would be a good idea for him to say something like this.
    I think that if someone else had crafted a well-thought out statement for McClain,
    everyone would know it didn’t come from McClain.
    I believe this came from McClain.
    This is a million times better than his deed or his arrest photo.
    Regardless of how the Raiders handle this, I believe the NFL will come
    down hard on McClain in the future. This guy’s an embarrassment to the league.

    May 23rd, 2012 1:47 pm

  7. Tiburon Dave

    Thanks MJ…I grew up in NYC and you’re right of course…just a bit of hyperbole on my part…

    Thanks Capts…if you tell me that Raider fans ‘can’t stand the guy’ I take you at your word, but that represents quite a change from a fan base that celebrates thugs on the team and in the stands…

    This nonsense about waiting for the NFL to rule is ridiculous…get rid of him today…this “part of the Raider family” excrement will come back to haunt both Allen and Reggie…how do you hold these guys accountable for false starts if holding a gun to another man’s head is “ok by me”…

    As far as the alleged rapist on the 49ers…it is a disgrace…it reflects poorly on the city, the team, and Coach Harbaugh…I’m actually surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention from a city that just ran the Sheriff out of town for imprisoning his wife…

    May 23rd, 2012 4:41 pm

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