Golf champion Phil Mickelson issued a statement Tuesday apologizing for controversial comments he made about Saudi Arabia, but he also claimed that they were taken out of context.
"There is the problem of off record comments being shared out of context and without my consent, but the bigger issue is that I used words I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions," read the lengthy statement in part.
"It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words. I'm beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this," he added.
Mickelson made the controversial comments in an interview from November that was reported by author and golf writer Alan Shipnuck about a breakaway league that was proposed to be sponsored by Saudi Arabia.
Mickelson referred generally to those in the country as "scary mother*******," and went on to say it was an opportunity to expand the PGA Tour.
"We know they killed (Washington Post columnist Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay," said Mickelson.
"Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates," he added.
Mickelson later accused Shipnuck of wrongfully publishing comments that were off the record, but Shipnuck denies doing so.
"I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and many have been shared with the public," concluded Mickelson in the latest statement. "My intent was never to hurt anyone and I'm so sorry tot he people I have negatively impacted."
Mickelson had previously angered some when he bashed high taxes in his native state of California in 2013 and also in December when he questioned the official social guidelines for battling the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Here's more about Michelson's controversial comments:
Fallout from Phil Mickelson's comments on Saudi-backed golf league | Golf Central | Golf Channel www.youtube.com