'Embarrassed' ex-NFL star Willie McGinest apologizes for assault arrest

FILE- Willie McGinest (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Former NFL linebacker Willie McGinest has issued a public apology for a "lapse in judgment" that led to his arrest in West Hollywood on suspicion of assault.

McGinest, 51, was arrested Monday morning at the West Hollywood sheriff's station, where he went to give a statement relating to the alleged assault, which occurred Dec. 9 at a restaurant/nightclub in the 7900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, sheriff's officials said. He was released on $30,000 bail later that morning.

"First and foremost, I want to offer my deepest apology for my lapse in judgment and behavior on December 9 at a restaurant in West Hollywood," he said Friday in a statement. "To my family, community, friends and youth I mentor, please know I feel horrible for my actions and take full responsibility.

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"To my colleagues at the NFL Network and those I work closely with as an adviser to professional and community-based organizations, please know I am embarrassed and regret what occurred.

"Most of all, I am disappointed in myself, as I know this is an isolated incident and is not reflective of my faith, role as a father, life's body of work or the role model I've worked hard to become," he said. "It is personally devastating that decades of community service, youth engagement, mentoring and professional development would become an afterthought in a single moment that should have never happened.

"This incident has prompted me to deep self-reflection — mind, soul and spirit. I know that violence is never the answer to such situations, no matter how intense the provocation. Rest assured, I will take whatever steps necessary to restore the public trust, mend damaged relationships and ensure this never happens again."

Exact details of what occurred at the restaurant have not been released.

McGinest played in the National Football League for 15 years, most of them with the New England Patriots, where he was a three-time Super Bowl champion. He attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School and played at USC.

Since retiring in 2008, he has served as an analyst for NFL Network, Fox Sports and ESPN.