BOSTON (CBS) — Scott Zolak apologized on Sunday for his comments from earlier in the week regarding rap music being a distraction for Cam Newton during practice.
“I’m sorry for that comment. I don’t need to make that comment,” Zolak said on the 98.5 The Sports Hub pregame show, as transcribed by NESN’s Zack Cox. “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.”
Here are Zolak's full comments from today: pic.twitter.com/wbaCF2L0NY
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 29, 2021
Zolak made the initial comments during Thursday’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“I’d turn off the rap music, first of all, because I think it’s distracting for Cam here,” Zolak said while analyzing Thursday’s practice, which was Newton’s first practice of the week after missing five days due to COVID protocols. “Because in between every throw, he’s dancing. … He makes a throw and then — the music’s still cranking here, I know you can hear it faintly in the background here … He can’t help himself.”
The comments were publicized on TMZ, which led to many stories and columns written about Zolak, and the racial implications of maligning rap music in particular.
Zolak said on Sunday that he spoke to Newton about the comments and the resulting attention on Sunday morning.
“I did this morning, yeah, and that’s one thing, I wanted to talk to him before I talked about this, to let him know,” Zolak said. “I got a chance to talk to him, and Cam’s nothing but class. Great guy. He handled it perfect. I mean, that’s between me and him, so that’s where I stand by it.”
Sunday’s on-air apology was Zolak’s first time speaking since the comments generated attention three days prior. He said he wanted to make his statement on the air during a broadcast, rather than calling in.
“It’s been a rough last couple days here, and I wanted to do this on air,” Zolak said. “It’s the first time I’ve been on air since Thursday. Friday was an off day, we traveled down [to New Jersey] Saturday, and I didn’t want to do a call-in or anything like that.”