Former Wake Forest star Josh Howard has apologized for disrespecting the national anthem on a widely-viewed video clip. He did so on the first day of the Dallas Mavericks' training camp Monday. My question now is was Howard being sincere, or was that spin control? (I'd say it was about a half-and-half mixture myself).
To back up for a minute.... At a charity flag football game in July, while a singer performed the national anthem in the background, Howard said into a camera: " 'The Star Spangled Banner' is going on right now. I don't even celebrate that [expletive]. I'm black."
The clip was posted on YouTube and was widely viewed. It prompted a lot of criticism, but Howard stayed silent throughout -- a real mistake, I thought. If you say something like that and you truly believe you were wrong, get out there and correct it. Fast.
Howard said in a statement Monday before taking questions from reporters: "This is not the way I carry myself, not how I want to be portrayed. I'm sorry to everybody I've offended. I'm upset with myself and the way I've acted."
He also said he loves his country. "It was me joking around," he said. "Guys were out there making fun and I decided to get along in it. I wasn't using my head. I guess the valuable lesson I did learn is that words really do hurt. You're held accountable for what you say."
Howard also was arrested in July in N.C. fter police said he was drag racing at 94 mph in a 55 mph zone.
He said he knows that there will be some fan backlash about his troubled summer. Last season, he said in a radio interview that he occasionally smokes marijuana. He also angered former Dallas coach Avery Johnson by throwing himself a birthday party after a playoff loss.
Howard said he wants to prove to fans he's not a bad guy. "I'll try to win them back," he said. "Whatever it takes me to do that, I'll do it."
So, do you believe him? Spin control or sincerity?