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Video: Janoris Jenkins Apologizes for Saying 'Retard' After Giants Release

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2019

New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins runs to the locker room against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Free-agent cornerback Janoris Jenkins issued an apology for using disparaging language against people with special needs when speaking with TMZ Sports on Friday.

Jenkins was interviewed by TMZ's Evan Rosenblum, the father of a special needs daughter, and called the situation a "learning experience."

"It's always a learning moment, man. Everybody's going to learn from different situations...move forward and learn," Jenkins said. "You just admit to it. Admit that you did wrong, which I did."

The New York Giants released Jenkins after he called a fan a "retard" in an exchange on Twitter and then was defiant when asked about the situation by reporters.

"This was an organizational decision," coach Pat Shurmur told reporters. "From ownership to management to our football operations, we felt it was in the best interests of the franchise and the player. Obviously, what happened this week, and the refusal to acknowledge the inappropriate and offensive language, was the determining factor."

Jenkins tweeted that his release was the "best news ever." He recorded 54 tackles and four interceptions while starting the first 13 games of the season in New York, struggling mightily in the early part of the campaign before righting the ship. It's unlikely he would have been back with the Giants in 2020 given he had a $10.2 million base salary.

Teams have until Monday to put a claim in on Jenkins and the $1.2 million remaining on his contract for this season. Any team that claims him would also be on the hook for his $10.2 million next season, but that money is non-guaranteed. The team could cut Jenkins after the season and not owe him any more money.

It's unclear if there are any teams interested, though his public apology may be the first step in a club warming up to the idea of bringing him in for the playoffs.