Mitch Ross Apologizes to Ray Lewis and Ravens for Deer-Antler Spray Controversy

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIFebruary 1, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 30:  Linebacker Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens addresses the media during Super Bowl XLVII Media Availability at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside on January 30, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Ravens will take on the San Francisco 49ers on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Mitch Ross is back in the headlines Friday, as it's now being reported across Twitter that he's apologizing to the athletes whose reputations were hurt by Sports Illustrated's story on deer-antler spray, Ray Lewis among them.

In the SI report, Ross' company S.W.A.T.S. was linked to several prominent athletes in the sporting world through its distribution of deer-antler spray.

The spray contains substances banned by the NFL.

The NFL's Albert Breer first tweeted a report of the apology. While Ross seemed to be targeting all the athletes named in the story, he specifically referred to Ray Lewis and Hue Jackson as "heroes."

Not long after, Raven Insider Aaron Wilson followed up with a tweet quoting Ross as saying, "I was young once I made a lot of mistakes."

While this apology isn't a concession from Ross of making up any details in the SI story, it's obvious the man feels bad for what the story has done to the good name of these athletes.

However, as Wilson also tweeted, Ross did make sure to mention he never saw Ray Lewis use the spray.

Lewis in particular has taken the brunt of the bad publicity, with his Baltimore Ravens set to play in the Super Bowl this Sunday in what will be Lewis' final game in the NFL.

While Lewis has vehemently denied use of deer-antler spray, it hasn't stopped the media from constantly asking about it.

In the SI report, S.W.A.T.S. was also linked to several college football players, including some from Alabama's 2011 BCS championship team.

In a follow-up tweet to the apology, Aaron Wilson also mentioned:

And in a very bizarre twist to everything, the NFL's Ian Rapoport had this to report:

While this probably isn't the last we hear from Ross, the apology is an interesting step from a man who's obviously remorseful. Unfortunately, that's not enough to clear these athletes' names.