Antrel Rolle Compares Giants to Troops Returning From Iraq, Then Apologizes
Earlier this week, Rolle blasted Giants fans who booed the team in Sunday's win over Jacksonville, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
That was bad enough -- until Thursday.
Rolle really stepped into it when he compared himself and the rest of his Giants teammates to American troops returning from Iraq.
Wrong move, Antrel, a REALLY bad comparison. Giants officials apparently had a word with the young man right after his most recent verbal faux pas, because a short while later Thursday, Rolle "apologized", reading from a scripted statement, saying his comments were "inappropriate."
Duh, you think?
"They want to make it that guys paid this much money for a ticket, yeah, I understand that, I understand completely," Rolle told the New York Daily News. "We risk ourselves out there on the field each and every day also. When soldiers come home from Iraq you don't boo them. I look at it the same way. I take my job seriously.
"I appreciate my fans, I appreciate them to the fullest, I am gonna continue to play for them as I always have. I am going to continue to be the best guy I could be for them. Nothing's gonna change."
It's pretty clear Rolle could use a few lessons in diplomacy. That, or he's had his bell rung too many times on the football field.
And even so, he tried to yuck it up when questioned about his insensitive comments.
"Blame my mom, I am not a politically correct guy. Not my father, it's my mother's fault. You ask me a question I am going to give you an answer, an honest answer," Rolle said. "My coaches ask me, my girlfriend asks me, I am going to give them an honest answer, I don't sugarcoat anything."
There's that "open mouth, insert foot" syndrome again.
Rolle backpedaled later in the day, trying to act contrite and apologetic, but the gesture was a wee bit too little, too late.
"I gave the analogy as far as when you have troops coming from Iraq they don't get booed. And you know, it's not even a comparable analogy," he said. "You cannot remotely compare what we do as opposed to what they do. They're fighting for our freedom, they're fighting for our country, We're out there playing a game. At the end of the day, it's a game. We get paid a lot of money, I understand that. But at the end of the day it's a game."
Thankfully, most of Rolle's teammates showed a heck of a lot more class, essentially distancing themselves from his remarks. But at the same time, they could somewhat understand Rolle's misguided attempts at acknowledging the fans' wrath, too.
"That's just the way the fans are," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "They have every right to be that way, they are paying $120 a ticket to come watch us play. You can't go out and stink it up like that. Especially in New York. As long as they are coming to watch us play, they can boo, they can do whatever they want to do. That's well within their rights to do that."
To further illustrate his contention about Giants fans, their booing in Sunday's first half of the eventual comeback win and the team's lackluster play in the first half, Rolle actually made a lot of sense when trying to explain some of the fans' derogatory utterances.
"I am not out there in the stands. We didn't put on the best performance, I understand that," Rolle said. "The thing that got me was the guy who asked me told me they were booing out of love, I just don't understand that, I never hear that. It's like you have a kid playing football and he does something wrong, am I going to boo him, because I love him? It works the same way."