NEW YORK (Reuters) - Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young apologized on Friday for an incident that led to a hate crime charge against him for allegedly yelling anti-Semitic remarks during a scuffle with tourists in New York.

Police say Young, 26, scuffled with four tourists from Illinois outside a hotel near Times Square early on Friday after the group gave money to a panhandler wearing a yarmulke.

The baseball player is accused of yelling anti-Semitic remarks during the incident, but it was unclear at whom the remarks were directed, police said.

Young has been charged with aggravated harassment, which is considered a hate crime, authorities said.

The Tigers are playing the New York Yankees in a weekend series starting on Friday night.

"I sincerely regret what happened last night," Young said in a written statement.

He also apologized to everyone he "affected," which included the Detroit Tigers, the family of team owner Mike Ilitch, and the team's fans.

"I take this matter very seriously and assure everyone that I will do everything I can to improve myself as a person and player," he added.

The team said in a statement it was aware of the allegation against Young, but had no comment.

"It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time. Per a provision in the Major League Baseball (MLB) Basic Agreement, any allegation that involves alcohol is referred to MLB's Employee Assistance Program," the team said.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)