Neal Maupay tried to win favour with the general public with an ‘apology’ on Saturday, that neither Bernd Leno nor anyone else should accept.
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:
As I already said, I’m sorry about what happened to Bernd Leno, I never meant to hurt him. I wish him a speedy recovery 🙏🏼
— Neal Maupay (@nealmaupay18) June 20, 2020
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.