Titans owner apologizes for gesture to former Houston mayor
Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams apologized Thursday for a crude gesture he made "in jest" toward former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier.
"I should not have displayed in public my personal feelings toward the former Houston mayor," Adams said in a statement. "In the future, I will make sure I leave the past behind and concentrate on the great organization and fans we have in Tennessee."
On Wednesday, the team previewed an NFL Films highlight video of the Titans' Super Bowl season. Afterward, Adams showed off a Titans AFC championship ring sample.
Asked what he would do if he ever won a Super Bowl ring, Adams pointed at a Houston Oilers AFL championship ring on his right finger, then to the sample ring on his left finger.
He then held up the middle finger on his right hand.
"I'll put it on the middle finger and say to the mayor of Houston to take a look at it," Adams said.
After the footage was broadcast across the U.S. on Thursday, Adams apologized.
Adams openly battled with Lanier to get the Oilers a new stadium in Houston, then broke his Astrodome lease in 1997 once he had a deal to move the team to Nashville.
Renamed the Tennessee Titans, the team advanced to their first Super Bowl last season, losing to the St. Louis Rams.
An assistant at Lanier's Houston office said the former mayor had heard about Adams's gesture and issued a statement: "I appreciate the apology."