Neal Maupay tried to win favour with the general public with an ‘apology’ on Saturday, that neither Bernd Leno nor anyone else should accept.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Bernd Leno of Arsenal goes down injured and in pain as Neal Maupay of Brighton and Hove Albion argues with Hector Bellerin of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal FC at American Express Community Stadium on June 20, 2020 in Brighton, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/Pool via Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND: Bernd Leno of Arsenal goes down injured and in pain. Neal Maupay of Brighton and Hove Albion argues with Hector Bellerin on June 20, 2020. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/Pool via Getty Images)

After his shove on an airborne Bernd Leno in full control of the ball left the goalkeeper writhing in agony and probably out for the long term, Neal Maupay predictably posted an apology on Twitter.

Before we even get into the content of the tweet, let’s talk about that for a second. He went to Twitter to publicly air his apology to a specific player, rather than talking to the player personally. Even the tweet itself isn’t addressed to Leno.

There’s no doubt this was a PR move, not an attempt to make things right. It gets worse, though. Here’s Maupay’s ‘apology’ in full, for reference:

He begins with “as I already said” like this is some chore for him to have to repeat. Then he apologises for “what happened to” Bernd Leno. Not what he “did” to the goalkeeper, just for what happened to him.

It’s similar to saying “I’m sorry you’re upset”. A real apology involves an admission of guilt and an admission of responsibility, but there’s no responsibility being taken here.

The only part that comes close to admitting he did something wrong is that “I never meant to hurt him”. But even then, it’s only implied, at best. He should’ve said, “I never meant to hurt him, but I did and I’m sorry”.

Essentially, it’s a masterclass in non-apology. Deny bad intentions, say you’re sorry for the other person feeling bad, don’t take any responsibility for causing the problem. I hope Leno gives this statement all the respect it deserves.