Not So Noble: Apologies of the Week

Including an entry from Lego
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2015 9:05 AM CDT
Not So Noble: Apologies of the Week
File photo of Dr. Tim Hunt, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Public apologies making headlines this week include a scientist and a senator trying to show how funny they are:

  • Prize winner: "I'm really, really sorry I caused any offense, that's awful. I certainly didn't mean that. I just meant to be honest, actually."—Tim Hunt, Nobel-winning scientist, after he made light of "girls" working in labs. He added that it was a "stupid" thing to say in front of journalists, which is partly why a writer at the Washington Post calls this the "non-apology of the year."
  • New name, please: "We are sorry that wording which could be considered offensive has been used, as this has not been our intention at all."—Lego, after it described a strange-looking new Lego model as a "window-licker," a derogatory term for people with learning disabilities.

  • If it's on Facebook, it must be true: "I want to apologize as well to all our listeners for having made an erroneous statement. I am sorry for the mistake. However, I am glad to play a role in putting this rumor to rest."—Diane Rehm of NPR, after she informed Bernie Sanders that he had Israeli citizenship during an interview. He doesn't. She had seen it on Facebook.
  • Unsportsmanslike: "We apologize to all fans watching the game on television, to both teams and to our guests from Italy for the Nazi symbol."—Tomislav Pacak, a Croatian Football Federation spokesman, referring to the faint but unmistakable imprint of a large swastika on a soccer field.
  • He's a what? "(He) was joking with his colleague and immediately apologized to anyone offended by his remark."—Spokesperson for Sen. Mark Kirk, after he described his bachelor colleague Lindsey Graham as a "bro with no ho." (A Sun-Times columnist thinks he owes a specific apology to residents of Chicago's South Side.)
  • All business: "Please accept the apologies from my previous letter, which should not have been sent."—Homeowners association in Brentwood, Tenn., after threatening to sue a family for putting up a wheelchair ramp. The homeowner, a pastor, just had brain surgery. The HOA had second thoughts when the story went public.
(More apology stories.)

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