Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger apologised for his criticism of former team-mate Antonio Brown.
Roethlisberger – a two-time Super Bowl champion – criticised Brown’s route running after a Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos during the NFL last season.
Brown was eventually traded to the Oakland Raiders in the offseason and Roethlisberger discussed his comments on Monday.
“I took some heat and deservedly so for some of the comments on that show and especially towards him,” Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh radio station KDKA about Brown.
“I genuinely feel bad about that and I’m sorry. Did I go too far after that Denver game? Probably.”
Brown was reportedly unhappy about Roethlisberger’s criticism and he eventually requested the Steelers move him in mid-February.
The wide receiver was then sent to Oakland about one month later in exchange for two draft picks.
Roethlisberger and Brown played together in Pittsburgh from 2010-18.
“That’s the thing about media and social media, as soon as you say ‘sorry’ it only goes so far,” Roethlisberger said. “You can’t take it back. And I wish I could because if that’s what ruined our friendship and relationship, I’m truly, genuinely sorry about that.”
Brown – a seven-time Pro Bowl player – finished with 1,297 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches in 15 games for the Steelers last season. He has scored 74 times in 130 career games.
“I bring accountability,” Brown said at his introductory press conference in Oakland in March. “I bring actions. Not what I say, what I do. How I approach things. Holding guys accountable in the receiver room.
“Pittsburgh will always be my family. Those guys gave me a chance when I was a 21-year-old kid. Obviously, people listen to the things that were being said and written, but at the end of the day, it’s all about how you make people feel.”
Roethlisberger, meanwhile, signed a two-year, $68million extension with the Steelers in the offseason.