This will likely put this off-field situation to bed.
Tuesday, a video surfaced that showed one Georgia Tech football player, Step Durham, laying out and knocking out a teammate, fellow starting defensive back Lance Austin (pictured), with one punch. The incident reportedly occurred prior to the start of spring practice this year in Tech’s practice facility.
WARNING: a bit of NSFW language is included, so be aware.
Shortly after the video went viral, Tech acknowledged it was aware of the incident between the seniors and stated unspecified discipline was handled internally. Late Tuesday night, the football program released statements attributed to the two players involved, one of which confirmed that the incident was the result of a dispute that got violent instead of mere locker room horseplay.
First off, I would like to start by apologizing to Georgia Tech, my teammates – especially Lance Austin – and my coaches, fans and family for bringing a negative light on the school, the football program and my name.
My actions in the video that was made public today were unacceptable and the dispute should have been handled in a more adult manner. Taking disputes to a physical level is never the answer and I hope my peers take note of my mistake.
The incident occurred during the spring, which gave Lance and me an opportunity to discuss the matter and put it aside a long time ago. Lance and I have always had a brother-like relationship and brothers sometimes fight but, as I said before, the situation should have been handled in a more mature manner. I’m glad that even after the incident, our friendship remains strong.
I’m deeply sorry for my actions and, being an adult, I understand that consequences and judgment come with the actions shown. I hope to prove to those who don’t know me that I’m not a violent person whatsoever. I would respectfully ask those that have viewed the video not judge or categorize Lance or me based on what they saw in the video alone. Thank you.
A lot has been made today of an incident that happened months ago. The video snippet of that incident is not beneficial to anyone. Step Durham apologized and we long ago put that incident behind us. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no further need for an apology. I forgave him already and we have since played well together as teammates this season. Like Step said, as brothers, we have put our aside our differences and our friendship remains strong.