Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told USA Today Sports that he apologized to his fellow NFL owners Tuesday for any damage caused to the league's reputation due to the FBI investigation into his Pilot Flying J company.
Haslam, according to USA Today, asked commissioner Roger Goodell whether he could address the NFL's other owners at the spring meetings in Boston to offer an explanation of the investigation.
"I thought it was important," Haslam told USA Today. "We're partners in the NFL. I wanted to address them face-to-face."
Federal investigators allege that Pilot, a truck-stop chain that is the nation's largest diesel fuel retailer, deliberately withheld rebates from trucking companies to boost profits. Haslam, who bought the Browns last year, met with Goodell in April. The league has not announced any disciplinary actions.
He said last week he was "absolutely not" aware of and did not participate in the practices that led to the federal investigation into his company.
"I know he feels a sense of embarrassment," New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told USA Today. "He said they're going to do everything they can to get it under control and put it behind them, and that he felt bad for the attention that it brought to the Cleveland franchise and the NFL, and he was going to make it right."
New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said he was "touched" by Haslam's talk.
"He is the new kid in town in terms of NFL ownership," Tisch told USA Today. "And to sort of deal with an issue like this in the first quarter is impressive."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.