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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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