Japanese player bows in shame, apologizes for intentionally hurting opponent
Taisuke Miyagawa apologizes for intentionally injuring the quarterback of an opposing team with a late tackle during a news conference broadcast live across Japan. AP

TOKYO — A Japanese college football player has apologized for intentionally injuring the quarterback of an opposing team with a late tackle, an incident that has riveted Japan for several weeks.

In a news conference broadcast live across Japan, Taisuke Miyagawa bowed deeply and said his coach had told him to do it. But he said he should have been stronger and refused the coaching order.

The coach, Masato Uchida, quit in the wake of the May 6 game.

Miyagawa said, "I deeply regret that I caused tremendous damage and inconvenience. I'm really sorry."

American football is little played in Japan, and the violent tackle with intent to injure — against the rules wherever the game is played — has shocked many in a country famous for baseball, sumo, and good manners.

Miyagawa said he called the news conference to "tell the truth" and was accompanied by his lawyers.

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