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Sellers Apologizes, Explains Pregame Report

Michael Pehanich, Zack Bolno's No. 2 guy and a Mountaineer, entered the press room today as usual to escort us to Jim Zorn's weekly day-after-the-game rap session.

On this occasion, however, Mike asked that we accompany him to the main building a tad early because fullback Mike Sellers wanted to address the media before Zorn. Sellers is among the Redskins' biggest locker room clowns, the cat always has jokes, so I immediately asked Mike if this was a joke, or would it lead to something that made me uncomfortable to witness.

He said it was on the level, and then proceeded to explain the situation to me and two other reporters. In the notes portion of Friday's Associated Press report on the Redskins-Patriots game, Sellers was criticized for his conduct with the United States flag during pregame introductions.

"An unsightly breach of patriotic etiquette: Redskins FB Mike Sellers, carrying the American flag onto the field during pregame introductions, flung the Stars and Stripes onto the ground near the 50-yard line," the report read. "After a few seconds, LB Robert Hanson walked over and rescued the flag off the turf."

I did not realize this occurred. Even if I had witnessed Sellers drop the flag, I would not have made that a big deal about it because I have spoken with the man repeatedly, which is my job as a beat reporter, and am familiar with his background. Sellers's father was a career military man, and I just don't get the sense he would intentionally do something to degrade the flag.

Also, I have a big problem journalistically with essentially questioning someone's patriotism in a report without giving the person a chance to respond. The reporter said he could not locate Sellers in the locker room after the game.

Well, anyway, Sellers was waiting for us in the former press room in the main building. He clearly wasn't in his usual upbeat mood when he said, "You all got to help me out with this."

And with that, Sellers got into the situation.

"It's been brought to my attention, carrying the flag out yesterday, that I didn't put it in the proper spot after carrying it out. I meant no disrespect," Sellers said. "My father retired [from the military] 30 some years almost, I grew up as an Army brat, I know the conduct when it comes to the flag and I made a mistake by setting it down the way I did and I'd like to apologize if I offended anybody out there.

"I was asked to bring it out last minute, didn't know who to give it to, got hyped up, and put the flag down. Like I said, if I offended anyone, I apologize. That's not me. I grew up in a military background. I know what it is to respect the flag, and I apologize. It was in the heat of the moment."

By Jason Reid  |  August 29, 2009; 2:47 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Suisham vs. Rayner: Is One Kicker Ahead?

Comments

Sellers is a stand up guy..... Enough said!!! Apology accepted! Now back to the Roster spots..... who are the bubble guys?

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | August 29, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

First?

Good to see our football players know when they were wrong and show respect for the flag.

Posted by: eghblaw | August 29, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

People love to get worked up over stupid stuff. Let's worry about Mike Vick, not Mike Sellars, okay?

Posted by: Wemiss21 | August 29, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Nuthin' but love for ya, Sellers. This was just a mistake, thats all. So many have made pre-planned decisions to &*%# up and claim a "mistake". Completely different, and owning it immediately - Just Bonus Credibility.

Posted by: gufinufi | August 29, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Bubble Guys?

RB: Marcus Mason

LBs: Glenn, Henson, Wilson, Thomas, Fincher

DL: Buzbee, Jackson

CB: Westbrook, Tryon

OL: both Williams', Montgomery, Clark


Posted by: Wemiss21 | August 29, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

sicwidit,

Thanks for the Blache/Matich synopsis. Someone had posted it on Youtube but when you click on it, it's been removed.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 29, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

You can see Blache / Matich here.

http://comcastsportsnet.tv/pages/main

Posted by: Markin21132 | August 29, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Somebody find out the name of the AP reporter and post it here. It is very easy to contact AP reporters, take their first initial of their first name and then their entire last name + @ap.org is 9 times out of 10 their email address.

I would simply like to give him a piece of my mind for creating this pseudo controversy with his questioning Mike Sellers patriotism.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 29, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Mark from the future, thanks for the link. Out here in the SW I do not get to see the local news stuff on the Skins.

Have been a Mason supporter for the last two years and see him finally making the team.

However, Anthony Alridge looked really good yesterday. He has explosive speed and elusiveness. Would love to see him make the team. Liked him better at RB than Dorsey.

Posted by: Curzon417 | August 29, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

mark, Thanks for the link. Good to see you back on the blog.

Barno, Don't give anyone "a piece of your mind." You need to hang on to all you've got.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 29, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that Markin! Greg Blache is the sh!t. He would be an awesome Head Coach. He don't take no guff.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 29, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Barno, Don't give anyone "a piece of your mind." You need to hang on to all you've got.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | August 29, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Barnos have feelings too.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 29, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

SCapmbell,

As much as I like Blache as he speaks his mind, I'm afraid I'm not his biggest fan on some schemes... I don't think he's that great of a coordinator,.. although when he blew games last year, he owned up to it. Which I do respect.

Wemiss 21,

I think Renaldo Wynn has to be on there too. I see them keeping Buzbee or Jackson ahead of him. Go with the youth since we have good depth on the DL.

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | August 29, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Go with the youth since we have good depth on the DL.

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg

Not only that, but good chance that Wynn is available if needed because of injuries during the reg season.

Posted by: Curzon417 | August 29, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Curzon,

Great point b/c I don't see many teams racing to pick him up. He is a big body that can be used in short yardage plays inside, but other than that,.. I don't see him playing more than 3-5 snaps a game. Liability on spec.teams coverage units. The young bucks can contribute on Teams.

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | August 29, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Greg Blache!! Trevor Matich sucks anyway. He needs to go. Get a more relevant former player

Posted by: tonyc | August 29, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey RI...

With all the hype over the NFC East, is there a team that could possibly be overhyped and could nopt be as good as advertised...

My answer is the Eagles...anyone else agree?

Posted by: rickyroge | August 29, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I think the media unfortunately teaches us what to think about things like this today. The American flag gets very little respect from the citizens of this country unless it is from military or former military personel. If this was a Hispanic flag, Sellers would be in deep trouble. Disrecpect the Muslim Holy Book? The media crucifies you. Since it is "just" the American flag he is easily forgiven.

Personally, the fact that Sellers came from a military upbringing where he knows flag etiquette makes the act more inexcusable. He should have known better. At the same time people make mistakes, he apologized and hopefully he learns from it. I just wish that people's forgiveness extended to so many other situations where the public absolutely wants to destroy someone for a mistake that is made. Remember Fuzzy Zoeller? How about the Dixie Chicks? Yes, we tend to forgive when it doesn't emotionally impact us. Talk to a WWII vet and I doubt that they would be so willing to forgive Sellers so quickly. It would be great if we could forgive for single actions like this. Sellers has shown no pattern of behavior, seems to regret the action and is willing to take accountability so I think he deserves forgiveness even though the act was very troublesome for me. I hope we can forgive others in similar situations when it maybe hits home a little more.

Posted by: chuckybren | August 29, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Clegg, good call on Wynn. I don't think there is room for him. It seems like the top 8 DL are:

Carter, Haynesworth, Griffin, Daniels
Jarmon, Golston, Montgomery, Alexander

So, even if you keep 9, you can only choose 1 from the list of Buzbee, Jackson, and Wynn.

Plus, you have Orakpo and Wilson who can both play end.

Posted by: Wemiss21 | August 29, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I would simply like to give him a piece of my mind for creating this pseudo controversy with his questioning Mike Sellers patriotism.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 29, 2009 3:30 PM>>

Why is it the reporter's fault? Does the fact that it is a Redskin make it a "pseudo controversy"? What if it was T.O.? Or Tony Romo? Would you say that "it's no big deal" then?

Posted by: jyjr16 | August 29, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

If Chase plays well next game, we cut Todd Collins, and keep the two youngsters...

Posted by: Chia_Pet

Bad idea. If Campbell gets hurt, neither replacement has any game experience.

Posted by: TheCork | August 29, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"In fact, I'll say he hasn't been as bad has Hitler as doing it

.Posted by: MistaMoe"

In English please?

Posted by: Samson151

That’s not his native tongue.

Posted by: TheCork | August 29, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Chucky,

Well said, however, unless you've run out of a tunnel in front of almost 70,000 people screaming w/ the adrenaline flowing, you can't imagine the feeling. ( longest runon sentence in the history of RI i think..)

They must like Buzbee to keep bringing him back after injuries, but I get the feeling Jackson is the guy that stays.

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | August 29, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Gibbs would probably cut Marko Mitchell

Posted by: rickyroge

But of course. Gibbs never had any decent wide receivers during his stay in DC. The tight ends sucked too.

Posted by: TheCork | August 29, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

You cut Betts and he's on another team's roster. You cut Mason and you can resign him anytime during the season.

Posted by: talent_evaluator |

Like last year?

Posted by: TheCork | August 29, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, at least our media department and football players are smart.

Posted by: BMACattack | August 29, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Greg Blache!! Trevor Matich sucks anyway. He needs to go. Get a more relevant former player

Posted by: tonyc

Actually, Trevor is one of the rare ex-player analysts who tries to find something positive to say about the Skins.

Posted by: Lisa_R | August 29, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

My answer is the Eagles...anyone else agree?

Posted by: rickyroge | August 29, 2009 3:49 PM

Agree. Their OL has yet to play together to try and build cohesiveness, so they will probably start out slow. McNabb is already crying about having to get off the field and/or share playing time with Vick (nothing new about McNabb crying about something like his better team not able to beat the Skins last year!).

Plus their defense will not be as good this year IMO with the loss of Dawkins and their DC.

Posted by: Curzon417 | August 29, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Blache blitzed 14.4% according to Football Outsiders and that was 3rd highest in the league... boy does getting three turnovers last night look much better...( although in the 2nd half against backup QB, Barnes was still a nice play and Westbrook didn't give up on the play )

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | August 29, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: Curzon417 | August 29, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I would simply like to give him a piece of my mind for creating this pseudo controversy with his questioning Mike Sellers patriotism.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 29, 2009 3:30 PM>>

Why is it the reporter's fault? Does the fact that it is a Redskin make it a "pseudo controversy"? What if it was T.O.? Or Tony Romo? Would you say that "it's no big deal" then?

Posted by: jyjr16 | August 29, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I'll let Jason Reid answer that one

"I have a big problem journalistically with essentially questioning someone's patriotism in a report without giving the person a chance to respond." -Jason Reid

Posted by: Barno1 | August 29, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

From a Pats fan -- apology accepted, Mr. Sellers. And the reporter didn't make a mistake, ether -- he was just doing his job by reporting Mike Seller's actions on the field. Mike thoughtlessly committed a brach of etiquette, was called on it, manned up and apologized. Nuff said...

Posted by: jerkhoff | August 29, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll let Jason Reid answer that one

"I have a big problem journalistically with essentially questioning someone's patriotism in a report without giving the person a chance to respond." -Jason Reid

Posted by: Barno1 | August 29, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The reporter didn't "question someone's patriotism", he reported what happened last night. Anyone else would have reported it had they seen it. And you didn't answer my question about had it been TO or Romo doing the same thing.

Posted by: jyjr16 | August 29, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Redskin Willie

You got email, brother.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 29, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

scampbell1975 | August 29, 2009

Greg Blanche schemes are for the sh-ts. The skins Blitz, Blitz and blitz and never get there, why because they never surprise anyone..He's got the players. Now do something with them..Our defense should be killing people, just like the Steelers & Ravens

Posted by: Dkessler1 | August 29, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

People constantly breach flag and National Anthem etiquette. It is a breach to yell or applaud before the last note of the anthem has finished. Its a breach to wear the image of the flag in any form on any item of clothing, except for some people in certain govt entities like the military or fire dept. But this is all etiquette, not law. I kind of like keeping the ceremonial flag duties at games in the hands of honor guards, they know exactally what to do and when. Let the players bring out the Skins banner or ride out on a horse or something.

Posted by: kenboy1 | August 29, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The reporter was with in his rights to ask a question, I am with in my rights not to give a flying #&*@. There are problem children in the NFL who in this situation would be part of a huge deal. Sellers is a stand up guy, he got out discussed it explained himself, its done not the topic of the Sport reporters sunday AM or Talk radio for a week. Its done its over!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Deadfish | August 29, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what the win-loss record will be this year, but I am sure the Skins will be a better football team than last year. If we can stay healthy, the record should improve. I like both MM's (Marcus Mason and Marko Mitchell), a tackle off the waiver wire, Chase, all three second round receivers, and, The Dixie Chicks.

Posted by: mmck | August 30, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I normally refrain from commenting on the stories on the Post web site, but have occasionally done so in the past and will do so again now.

For Jason Read to state; “Even if I had witnessed Sellers drop the flag, I would not have made that a big deal about it because I have spoken with the man repeatedly, which is my job as a beat reporter, and am familiar with his background.”, illustrates his complete lack of appreciation of how serious many Americans feel about the exceptionally casual way in which many athletes treat our nations flag during a sporting event. The American flag represents many things to different people. It is not a coat or a cape to be draped over ones shoulders. For Mike Sellers, who is a fine athlete and a valuable asset to the Redskins to have “flung the Stars and Stripes onto the ground near the 50-yard line" is a big deal. Throwing the nations flag on the ground is a complete show of disrespect - intentional or not.

And for Mike Sellers to say, “if I offended anyone” is disingenuous. However, I do believe Mike Sellers was not intentionally disrespectful and as a fan and a fellow American I accept his apology.

As for Jason Read, “journalistically” sometimes it’s hard to tell the forest from the trees. The “big problem” you apparently have with the reporter who broke this story was reporting on visible behavior. His report, as you yourself quoted it read: “An unsightly breach of patriotic etiquette”. The reporter never challenged Mike Sellers patriotism. He just reported on his conduct, which was in fact, inappropriate.

Posted by: jeff48 | August 30, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Its sad that folks feel the need to question others patriotism based on an inadvertent action. The fact that in political debates you have one side claiming the other side isn't patriotic is depressing. Personally, I'm fine with folks disagreeing with me, but do so by making an argument not by asserting that I'm against my country.

Posted by: rawk | August 30, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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