Haslam apologizes to NFL owners for damage caused by investigation

May 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM

BOSTON, May 22 (UPI) -- Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said he apologized to fellow NFL owners for any embarrassment caused by the federal probe of his chain of truck stops.

At an owners' meeting in Boston Tuesday, Haslam asked for 5 minutes to tell fellow owners he had no knowledge of alleged rebate fraud at his company, Pilot Flying J, and apologized for any damage to the NFL brand, USA Today reported.

"I thought it was important. We're partners in the NFL. I wanted to address them face-to-face," Haslam later told the newspaper.

The owners unanimously approved Haslam's acquisition of the Browns in October, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported Wednesday.

"I know he feels a sense of embarrassment," New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. "He said they're going to do everything they can to get it under control and put it behind them, and that he felt bad for the attention that it brought to the Cleveland franchise and the NFL."

"I was very touched by it," New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said of Haslam's comments. "He was open. I admire him for taking a very proactive position."

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