Nik Lewis Apology: Take 2 my most recent blog, I commented on an insincere apology by football star Nik Lewis, following a failed an inappropriate attempt at twitter humour. I differentiated between a partial and insincere apology, such as “I’m sorry if any of my actions offended anyone” and a  full apology. The latter acknowledges fault and is often offered with a promise not to repeat the behaviour in question.

In his initial apology Lewis stated, “Am I sorry that you got offended? Yes.” Needless to say, the apology failed to stem the tide of outrage at his original offensive tweet. The following day (likely responding to pressure by his team), he offered the following statement:

“I never would condone violence to anyone, especially women. I made a mistake by making that comment on Twitter and I take full responsibility for that comment. I would like people to know I am a better person than that.” He then pledged to donate his paycheque ($3,600) from Sunday’s CFL West final to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.

In contrasting his two apologies, we can see that he included many of the elements of a full apology:

  • acknowledgement of the hurt or damage done
  • taking responsibility for the situation
  • a statement of regret
  • an effort at restitution

It is unfortunate he had to wait for a replay to deliver a genuine statement of regret.

About Gary Harper, The Joy of Conflict Resolution

Gary Harper is the principal of Harper and Associates. He is a trainer, writer and facilitator who specializes in conflict resolution. Through his unique blend of experience as a personal injury lawyer, general manager, insurance regulator and retail store owner, he learned the value of clear communication and conflict resolution skills. Since 1991 he has trained and mediated in a wide variety of organizations - from health care to the film industry to many levels of government. He is a member of the instructional team of the Centre for Conflict Resolution at the Justice Institute of B. C. and recently authored The Joy of Conflict Resolution: Transforming Victims, Villains and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home.
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