North Carolina freshman quarterback Drake Maye apologized Tuesday evening for taking a shot at rival NC State earlier in the day, saying that his remark was meant as a joke but was "inappropriate."
Maye, while meeting with the media to discuss the Tar Heels' upcoming game on Saturday against Notre Dame, was asked about the success of his predecessor, Sam Howell, during his time with the program. Like Howell, Maye also grew up in North Carolina and elected to stay in-state and play for UNC.
"I didn't want to miss out on the home state, seeing Sam being a hometown kid, too. ... Whether you want to admit it or not, growing up in Carolina, you're gonna be a Carolina fan," Maye began his answer, before taking a jab at the school 25 miles southeast of Chapel Hill. "Some people may say State, but really people who go to State just can't get into Carolina."
He continued, "At the end of the day, playing for Carolina is what a lot of people from North Carolina want to do, so I didn't want to miss out on that, and obviously the family history," referring to father, Mark, who played quarterback for the Tar Heels from 1983 to '87, and brother Luke, who was part of the 2017 men's basketball national championship team.
In his apology, which was posted to Twitter, Maye wrote, "I made a remark today about NC State, and I want to apologize. I was answering a question about playing in-state and said something I shouldn't have. I said it as a joke but it was inappropriate. I feel bad and need to do a better job representing our program and this University."
I made a remark today about NC State, and I want to apologize. I was answering a question about playing in-state and said something I shouldn't have. I said it as a joke but it was inappropriate. I feel bad and need to do a better job representing our program and this University.— Drake Maye (@DrakeMaye2) September 21, 2022
The Tar Heels, off to a 3-0 start, host the 12th-ranked Wolfpack, also 3-0, in Chapel Hill on the Friday after Thanksgiving.