AN emotional Anthony Mundine donned sunglasses as he read out a prepared statement apologising to Americans for his comments regarding the 9/11 terror attacks, though he doesn’t expect them to be cheering him on against local Bronco McKart.
In the final press conference before Mundine and McKart fight in Las Vegas (11am AEST on Sunday), the Australian halted proceedings to clarify his controversial statements made after of the most infamous terrorist attack in history.
“I don’t know about being embraced, there was a bit of hostility when I was training in Mayweather’s gym, but I had to set it straight,” he said.
Mundine told those at the conference: “Firstly, I would like to say I’m sorry for all the heartache I caused to the loved ones of those lost on September 11. I’m sorry that people still have sisters, daughters, sons, fathers and mothers still abroad and in dangerous situations every day.
“No good ever comes out of war, only misery.
“It exposes innocent lives to danger unnecessarily.
“I’m also sorry that what I said was manipulated out of context by the media and journos doing their best to tarnish my image trying to portray me as a bad human being, rather than associate the Mundine name with peace, charity, community and love.”
At the time of the attacks Mundine, a Muslim, said: “They call it an act of terrorism, but if you can understand religion, and our way of life, it’s not about terrorism. It’s about fighting for God’s law, and America’s brought it upon themselves.”
Yesterday’s gesture was appreciated by his opponent.
“He wasn’t as confident, arrogant or brash as I thought he would be,” McKart said.
“He showed class. He was a gentleman. He apologised for that, I grabbed the mic and told him it takes a real man to do that … it means a lot to me and to the American people.”
An American war veteran stood up following Mundine’s sombre apology and said: “I think I can probably speak for a lot of Americans – we were waiting for you to make a comment like that – and I sincerely sincerely appreciate it.”