Clemson wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (34) gets tackled by Georgia Tech defensive back Step Durham (8) at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday, September 22, 2016. Lance Austin (17) moves in ready to help. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech’s Step Durham, Lance Austin issue statements about fight

Georgia Tech football players Step Durham and Lance Austin released statements Tuesday night, through the Tech sports media-relations department, about an incident from the spring in which Durham and Austin fought in a Tech facility, with Durham knocking out Austin.

TMZ Sports first published the video of the incident. 

Tech’s news release said that the statements were released at the request of Durham and Austin.

Durham’s statement:

“First off, I would like to start by apologizing to Georgia Tech, my teammates – especially Lance Austin – and my coaches, fans and family for bringing a negative light on the school, the football program and my name.  

“My actions in the video that was made public today were unacceptable and the dispute should have been handled in a more adult manner. Taking disputes to a physical level is never the answer and I hope my peers take note of my mistake. 

“The incident occurred during the spring, which gave Lance and me an opportunity to discuss the matter and put it aside a long time ago. Lance and I have always had a brother-like relationship and brothers sometimes fight but, as I said before, the situation should have been handled in a more mature manner. I’m glad that even after the incident, our friendship remains strong.

“I’m deeply sorry for my actions and, being an adult, I understand that consequences and judgment come with the actions shown. I hope to prove to those who don’t know me that I’m not a violent person whatsoever. I would respectfully ask those that have viewed the video not judge or categorize Lance or me based on what they saw in the video alone. Thank you.” 

Austin’s statement:

“A lot has been made today of an incident that happened months ago. The video snippet of that incident is not beneficial to anyone. Step Durham apologized and we long ago put that incident behind us. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no further need for an apology. I forgave him already and we have since played well together as teammates this season. Like Step said, as brothers, we have put our aside our differences and our friendship remains strong.”

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