Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon Shows Maturity in Apology for Throat Slash Gesture
Considering the way that his offseason has gone and his actions during the season opener versus Rice, the safe bet heading into the game of the year between Texas A&M and Alabama was that Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel would be the one who would issue an apology when it is over.
After all, he's been down that road before.
It wasn't Manziel issuing the apology on Monday, though.
Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon did so for his actions following a four-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that gave the Crimson Tide a 28-14 lead.
After trucking a defender, Yeldon got up, flashed the "money sign" gesture that A&M has done for two years (which got Manziel in hot water in the opener) and followed it up with a "throat slash" to the Aggies' crowd.
"I want to apologize to everyone for my selfish actions on Saturday," Yeldon wrote, according to Andrew Gribble of AL.com. "That is not the way I want to represent myself, my family and our team. That is not the way we do things at Alabama. This is something that I will learn from, and I will use better judgment in the future."
A 15-yard penalty was assessed to Yeldon for the celebration
Was his apology warranted?
You bet it was.
There could be a debate about whether Yeldon's gesture was really a "throat slash" or if he was simply telling the fans at Kyle Field that there would be no more celebrating for the Aggies. Either way, it came across as a throat slash, and Yeldon did the right thing by issuing a public apology.
Did T.J. Yeldon's gesture warrant a public apology?
It's a mature response from the true sophomore running back, who rushed for 149 yards and one touchdown in the 49-42 win.
But did he have a choice on issuing the apology?
Head coach Nick Saban was furious with Yeldon's penalty, and you can bet—whether it was specifically stated or just implied—Yeldon figured he needed to apologize.
In a game like this, with so much hype built up throughout the offseason, sometimes players get caught up in the heat of the moment and don't think things through before they act. That happens to all of us, especially 18- to 22-year-old college football players with the spotlight of the college football world on them.
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