Janoris Jenkins is having a sudden change of heart, prompted by the New York Giants‘ decision to release him on Friday after not only using a slur against a fan on Twitter, but also doubling down and refusing to apologize for it. The organization made swift work of Jenkins thereafter, with head coach Pat Shurmur noting how it wasn’t simply what Jenkins said that got him axed, but also the refusal to acknowledge it was wrong in the first place.
Immediately upon receiving news of his unemployment, Jenkins went back to Twitter to proclaim it was the “best news ever” and thanks the Giants for cutting him — a move that only worsened the public’s perception of him. Only hours later, as he hit waivers and hopes another team gives him a chance in 2019, the veteran cornerback attempted to do damage control and walked back his previous refusal to own up to his offending comment.
In speaking with TMZ Sports later Friday afternoon, Jenkins revealed his sudden moment of clarity, and wants everyone to know he’s ready to put it all behind him.
“You just admit to it,” he said. “Admit that you did wrong, which I did.”
Fact check: He didn’t admit he did anything wrong initially, hence his release. Instead, he attempted to excuse it away, quantifying the slur as a word he used growing up.
“At the end of the day it’s my slang,” he told media just one day before being fired by the Giants, per Pro Football Talk. “So if you take it how you’re going to take it, it’s on you. I don’t mean to offend nobody. My dad always told me, ‘Speak freely and own up to what you say.’
“So I always speak freely as a man and I speak how I want to speak.”
In his about-face to TMZ, however, he speaks of growth and seeks absolution.
“It’s always a learning moment,” Jenkins said. “Everybody’s going to learn from different situations. Move forward and learn.”
Teams have until Monday at 4 p.m. EST to submit a claim for Jenkins, or he’ll hit unrestricted free agency. The Pro Bowl corner is hoping his newfound acknowledgement of wrongdoing — although too late to save his job in New York — will make signing him more palatable in the court of public opinion.