Lewis clarifies radio remarks

Posted: 4:25 p.m.

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Lewis

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis released a statement late Thursday afternoon reiterating that he didn't accuse the Cincinnati Police Department of profiling his players racially or otherwise:

"Yesterday, I gave a radio interview and made some comments that did not illustrate the high regard I have for the Cincinnati Police Department. I apologize that what I said did not reflect my true feelings.

"The Bengals have worked closely and positively with the Cincinnati Police Department for decades. Personally, I enjoy a good friendship with Chief Tom Streicher and I have great respect for Chief Streicher and the entire Cincinnati Police Department. I have spoken with Tom today to express my regret. I do not believe the Cincinnati Police Department is specifically profiling our players.

"I also want to note that in my comments, at no point did I say or mean to imply that these issues had anything to do with race. Broadcast comments to the contrary are simply not true. When I spoke of our players being perhaps more subject to scrutiny than others, I was referring to their standing as public figures."

Streicher responded with a statement supporting Lewis:

"I had a chance to speak with Marvin Lewis this afternoon about comments he made yesterday on the radio. I have known and respected Marvin since he came to Cincinnati and in no way do I feel he would intentionally disparage our department. I can understand how comments sometimes can come out differently that what someone means them to say. ... Marvin Lewis has shown himself to be an outstanding member of this community. I am grateful for his community involvement and leadership."

On the Patrick show Wednesday, Lewis referred to the traffic stop on Vine Street back in March in which wide receiver Chris Henry was pulled over for not signaling, one of three traffic charges that were dropped.

"I think there's profiling, no question," Lewis said on the show. "We're (Cincinnati) a small place - our guys stand out, and they know that, and you've got to do things the right way. But when you are arrested for, or you are pulled over for, not putting on your turn signal, there's something wrong there.

"Many people make right turns without putting on their turn signals and it's unfortunate that we've had a guy that's pulled over for not putting on his turn signal."

Also Wednesday, Lewis told Bengals.com that his players have to realize that they are profiled in the community, and he doesn't mean racially.

"They have to realize at all times that they stand out because they're NFL players," Lewis said. "If one guy is with four other guys and they're all playing the fool, the NFL player is the guy that's going to get singled out. They have to realize they have to matriculate through the community a certain way."

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