PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia Eagles player Terrell Owens (search) apologized Thursday to anyone offended by his role in a steamy segment with actress Nicollette Sheridan (search) for the intro to "Monday Night Football."
"I felt like it was clean, the organization felt like it was a clean skit and I think it just really got taken out of context with a lot of people and I apologize for that," Owens said. "Personally I didn't think it would have offended anyone and, if it did, I apologize."
ABC and the Philadelphia Eagles (search) also apologized this week, with the team saying they wished the segment "hadn't aired."
The opening, which has generated complaints to ABC and the Federal Communications Commission (search), showed Sheridan wearing only a towel and provocatively asking Owens to skip the game for her as the two stood alone in a locker room.
The "Desperate Housewives" (search) star drops the towel and jumps into Owens' arms.
Owens had no idea the intro would create such a backlash.
"I thought it was a fun skit and that was it," Owens said.
Owens, a flashy player known for his outrageous touchdown celebrations, seemed to believe the skit was generating controversy because of his participation, not because of simulated nudity.
"Anything I get involved with, I'm obviously a target," he said. "It happened."
Reaction has ranged from amusement to anger. Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy found it racially offensive; Owens is black and Sheridan is white.
Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb (search) wasn't quite as vocal, saying he didn't find the segment offensive and believed people were overreacting. Michael Powell, chairman of the FCC, questioned ABC's judgment in airing the scene.
When asked if he was shocked the story was making the front page of newspapers around the country, Owens quipped, "I always make the front page."