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Power Take: Athlete apologies often point finger elsewhere

The NHL doesn’t often get it right on violence (really, nothing for Radko Gudas’s hit on Dan Catenacci?), but Gary Bettman should be commended for upholding Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension for crushing a linesman on Jan. 27.

It’s truly gratifying to hear the commissioner question the sincerity of Wideman’s apologies, calling them “somewhat hollow.” That characterizes 98 percent of athletes’ apologies, which are as empty as they are tiresome.

Players show up with prepared statements and tell us how sorry they are to their teammates and families − and, of course, their loyal fans. Sometimes, they actually mean it. But invariably, the apology will subtly suggest that they were unfortunate victims of circumstance.

The Sabres’ Evander Kane said missing practice because he partied into the wee hours at the NBA All-Star Game was “something that should have never happened.” Blake Griffin said he was sorry for “what happened” when he broke his hand in a fight. You see, it’s something that happened to them, not a stupid act of their own making. Sorry, but I’m not buying.

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