Irvin on comments: 'Inappropriate and insensitive'

Updated: November 28, 2006, 12:07 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ESPN broadcaster Michael Irvin apologized on Monday for comments last week which said that Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo's athletic ability must be the result of an African-American heritage.

Irvin's response
Michael Irvin responds to criticism over his comments about Tony Romo last week. Michael IrvinInsider

"I do want to apologize for those comments," Irvin said on the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio. It was on Patrick's show last week that Irvin made comments about Romo's athleticism.

"They were inappropriate and insensitive. My whole thing, what I always try to do, is give people a first-hand knowledge of what it's like in the locker room and how we as players joke around with one another," Irvin said.

"This is how I joke around with Romo when we're playing basketball … certainly, there's a difference from me the player and me the broadcaster. We may joke around like that in the locker room, and I'm trying to bring [viewers] in the locker room.

"I certainly have to know where to draw the line and certainly I needed to draw the line last week and I did not, so I apologize for that."

Irvin told Patrick he was joking. He said the same thing in an interview with USA Today.

"I was joking, as you could tell, saying it then," Irvin said. "I've read it, and when it's been written, it comes off in a different tone. Certainly, we were joking there ... the last thing I want to do is offend anybody."

"Generalizations about heritage are inappropriate even in jest, and what Michael said was wrong," ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys told USA Today. "We have spoken to Michael about it."