Scott Zolak has apologized for insinuating that rap music played during practice was negatively impacting Newton’s play.
Zolak, a former Patriots quarterback-turned-broadcaster, apologized for his comments during 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Patriots pregame show on Sunday.
I was trying to evaluate Cam through the process of his first couple of throws, and I blamed music for being a distraction in his preparation in between a couple of throws he had. And I reference the genre of rap that was being played. That’s something I know that’s drawn attention for being racially insensitive. I’m sorry for that comment. I didn’t need to make that comment. I should not even ever bring any sort of music into play, because I have no clue what’s going on in a player’s head.
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Zolak’s initial comments came during a Thursday appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub. He claimed that the rap music was “distracting” Newton between his throws.
“I’d turn off the rap music first of all, because I think it’s distracting for Cam,” Zolak said. “In between every throw, he’s dancing. He makes a throw and the music’s still cranking.”
Zolak also said Newton wasn’t taking his return to action seriously enough after a five-day absence due to a violation of the NFL’s COVID protocols.
“He came out [after his absence], he’s still jacking around,” Zolak said of Newton. “It just looks like Mac came to work today and he didn’t.”
Naturally, Zolak’s comments were met with criticism. And some pointed out the double-standard of Zolak’s comments considering that Tom Brady used to dance to rap music at practice when he was with the Patriots.
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So, Zolak apologized. But why did he wait a couple of days to do so?
“I wanted to do this on the air,” Zolak said.
He also confirmed that he had apologized to Newton directly during the team’s road trip to New Jersey.
“Cam’s nothing but class,” Zolak said. “Great guy. He handled it perfect. I mean, that’s between me and him. So that’s where I stand by it.”