NEW YORK (WFAN) — Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz took to the airwaves on Monday to offer a mea culpa for posting a controversial tweet in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal.
“Thoroughly confused. Zimmerman doesn’t last a year before the hood catches up to him,” Cruz wrote on Twitter after a jury found the Florida neighborhood watchman not guilty on all charges Saturday night in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
On WFAN radio, he said it was his “initial reaction” to the conversation about the verdict.
“Once I put it out (there), I read it, and I was like, you know, it was the wrong thing to do,” Cruz told Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Monday. “I see kids that follow me. I’m a role model to a lot of these kids and they follow me and look up to me, and I felt like it wasn’t the right thing to post.”
Cruz said he was “not the type of guy to incite violence on anyone.”
“I come from a place in Paterson, New Jersey, where there’s violence all around me, day in and day out,” Cruz said. “So the last thing I want to do is incite that on anyone else, anywhere, in any way, shape or form.”
“So I took it down,” he added. “I don’t want kids thinking that that’s OK, or anything of that nature is OK. I just want to move forward from it. I understand — I mean, being a dad and just imagining that was your son being taken from you at such a young age and the ordeal that (the Martin) family had to go through, it’s tough. It’s tough to go through, especially when you’re a father and you look at it from that perspective. So it was tough, and I understand that the kids look up to me and they look up to what I write, and I didn’t want anybody taking that line the wrong way.”
Cruz said he expected backlash from the tweet, though the nature of some of it was surprising.
“I got called the N-word a couple times, which was pretty shocking,” he said. “Once (the reaction) started flooding in, I was like, ‘Man … there’s gonna be kids, it’s gonna be made news. I gotta take it down.’ After a while, I was like, ‘Man, I gotta apologize for this.’ “
He said he discussed the tweet and explained his thought process to the Giants’ public relations team.
“They weren’t upset about anything,” Cruz said. “They just wanted me to approach it the right way. They were pleased with the way we handled it.”
Cruz, 26, recently signed a five-year, $43 million extension with the Giants.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White also apologized on Twitter after posting “All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid.”
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