- The Washington Times - Friday, December 14, 2018

ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins linebacker Mason Foster addressed reporters Friday for the first time since a series of Instagram messages with a fan were leaked to the public, saying he regretted his comments — though also blamed his cousin for a portion of the conversation.

Foster and his cousin put out separate statements late Thursday, with the linebacker apologizing for the “inappropriate language and derogatory remarks.” Foster’s cousin claimed responsibility for the majority of the exchange

Foster said he did send the first series of messages — which include “F– this team and this fanbase” with six laughing emojis — but added he thought he was sending them to a close friend “in a joking way.”

Foster said the screenshots don’t show the entire conversation, either.

“I love the fanbase,” Foster said. “That was one of the reasons I came back here. I love my teammates. I love my coaches. It was said out of frustration, thinking I was talking to somebody else, but I wasn’t. People know I love these fans out here. … I always make time for the fans no matter what, win lose or draw. It was said out of frustration and in a joking way, thinking I was talking to a close friend and I wasn’t. And I regret it, man. It was horrible.”

In other messages leaked, Foster’s account is shown using a homophobic slur to insult a fan.

Foster said those came from his cousin, who took over the account following the Redskins’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month. Foster said his family told him he should get away from his social media accounts, but gave access to his cousin to drive awareness for the My Cause My Cleats game.

Foster said he would “never” use any type of hate speech.

“I still feel horrible,” Foster said. “He feels horrible. My family, talking to my mom and dad and we have a lot of people in our family that are different and gay. [The slur is] just something I don’t want people to think is OK. I feel like I want to lead by example. I have two little boys of my own. I never want them to think that it’s OK to match hate with hate or say something back to somebody like that.”

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