Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel said he is “ashamed” by his behavior in his season-opening game on Saturday and claims he will tone down his behavior after reading several columns about himself in newspapers and online.
The Heisman winner was forced to sit out the first half of the Aggies’ season opener against Rice due to his role in an autographs-for-pay scandal, but returned for the second half and threw three touchdowns on 6-for-8 passing for 94 yards. His brash behavior in the game, however, making gestures alluding to cash and signing autographs, got most of the attention.
“A lot of the Rice players were yapping at me and I was just trying to have fun with it,” said Manziel. “But then I happened to be online after the game and … wow. I really let some sports columnists down. I’m very sorry. Sorry and ashamed. I have to do better.”
The quarterback said he read more than a dozen columns chiding his behavior and each one made “more and more sense to him. Their takes were strong and true.”
“I’m not just a college quarterback trying to win games and have fun,” he said. “I am an avatar for the downfall of our society. I know that now. I also understand that kids were watching that game, and those kids may never recover from seeing my behavior. I’ve tainted them and, for that, I am very sorry. Thankfully, the men and women who wrote these columns cared enough about me to make their thoughts known. I just wish I could thank all of them individually. I will never forget their constructive criticism and advice.”
With another game fast approaching against Sam Houston State, Manziel said he will try to play with “honor and dignity.”
“I will keep my emotions in check and comport myself with the utmost decorum and solemnity,” he said. “I know how important that is now, thanks to the men and women of the sports media. I just wish more of my fellow college athletes would hear them out. They are so generous with their advice.”
Manziel said he is also considering quitting football and going into sports media “so I can really make a positive impact on the world.”