ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins executive Doug Williams apologized Friday for comments he made Thursday, when he called linebacker Reuben Foster's domestic violence arrest "small potatoes" when compared to crimes committed by people in positions of power.
The Redskins claimed Foster off waivers Tuesday, three days after he was arrested and charged with domestic violence in Tampa, Florida. The San Francisco 49ers released him Sunday. Similar charges against Foster were dropped earlier this year.
Williams did not read from prepared text while apologizing and did not answer any questions after his 80-second statement. He had caught heat both inside and outside the organization, sources told ESPN, after comments he made to The Team 980 during his weekly interview with the Redskins' broadcast partner.
"I want to apologize to the organization, my wife, my mom, my sisters and the six daughters that I have," Williams said Friday. "The last night or so [has] been real tough on me from an emotional standpoint, because never in my life did I say anything so insensitive as [what] I said. I'm not going to sit here and make excuses because there is no excuse.
"There's not a lot to say. No more than the fact that, if you know me, you would understand, growing up, I understand the climate and what's going on. For me to make comments like I did, I want to apologize to anybody out there within earshot, especially the ladies of this area, across the country. Like I said, I got six daughters that no way in the world I would tolerate anything like that. So for me to say something like that, I just want to apologize."
The Redskins have made it clear they will wait for the ramifications of Foster's arrest to play out in the legal system and at NFL headquarters. They said there's no guarantee Foster ever plays for Washington.
"We got people who are in high, high, high, high places that have done far worse, if you look at it realistically," Williams said during the radio interview Thursday. "And they're still up there. This is small potatoes [compared to] a lot of things out there. But at the same time, it's a big issue in America today, whether or not it's in football, whether or not it's in everyday life, whether or not it's in politics, it's out there."
The Redskins spoke to a number of people about Foster, including former Alabama teammates and his high school coach. The team, however, did not talk to the Tampa police.
"We are in the business of at least looking into [Foster's case]," Williams said in his radio interview. "I could sit here, and I won't, name a bunch of teams that took on players that got a lot of baggage that nobody's saying anything about.
"You can't get into nitpicking what they do and what you do. You gotta look at it from your standpoint. There was a lot of thought that went into it. It wasn't just a spur of the moment type of thing. We all gathered, we talked about it, we knew there was going to be some risk-reward involved in it."