not QOTY but borders on nonapology apology

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 5 01:35:57 UTC 2013

Mike Tomlin had some interesting phrasing in his public apology (during
press conference) for his "inadvertent" interference with a play in the
Steelers' last game.

> On Tuesday, Tomlin struck a conciliatory tone -- and pretty much
> executed an about-face from his comments after the Steelers' 22-20
> loss last week, when he said he was in the white stripes that separate
> the sideline from the field because other coaches do the same thing.
> "I can't be in that space and I was, so I take full responsibility for
> that," Tomlin said Tuesday. "It's an inexcusable blunder on my part. I
> understand with my position comes the charge of preserving and
> protecting the integrity of the game of football, and I think probably
> my biggest error on Thursday night is not realizing that play
> jeopardized the integrity of the game from a perception standpoint."

In case it's not obvious, I'm referring to the last PP "from a
perception standpoint". It's an interesting qualifier that's not quite
on par with with the standard non-apology apology language (e.g., "I'm
sorry some people were offended" or "I did not consider the possibility
that some people might find my otherwise innocent actions offensive").
But it's in the same category. It suggests that the coach did nothing
wrong, but is apologizing for appearance of impropriety.


The American Dialect Society -

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