Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher has apologised again for the “awful” spitting incident which led to his suspension by Sky Sports.
Carragher was filmed spitting from his car towards a girl in another vehicle after Liverpool’s 2-1 Premier League loss at Manchester United on Saturday.
Sky suspended the pundit, saying it takes the matter “extremely seriously”.
“Hopefully I’m judged not right now but over a longer period of time,” the 40-year-old told BBC Sport.
“Hopefully I’m given the opportunity to show people the real me, who they’ve seen for the last 20 years or so.”
Carragher made 737 appearances for Liverpool and won 38 England caps.
A Danish television channel has pulled him from its coverage of United’s Champions League game against Sevilla at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
In the video obtained by the Mirror, Liverpudlian Carragher exchanges waves with the girl’s dad. Carragher then winds down his window while the girl’s dad winds down his passenger-side window. The dad can then be heard shouting: “Unlucky Jamie lad. Two, one.”
Carragher reacts by leaning out of his window and spitting towards the car, hitting the girl, who is sitting in the front passenger seat.
He apologised on Twitter on Sunday, and said he was “goaded three/four times while being filmed” but there was “no excuse”.
Speaking to the BBC on Monday, he said: “It looks awful and I accept that. It’s not something I’ve done before and not something I’ll do again.
“It’s a stain on my character and I have to accept that.”
Carragher, who has two children, said he would condemn someone else had they behaved in a similar way.
“If I was watching someone do that, I’d be commenting or tweeting about it myself,” he said. “There’s not a person in the world who can condone spitting no matter what’s gone on.
“I knew there was someone else in the car, and I knew it was a female, but I didn’t know it was a young girl.
“When I lost it, my rage was focused on the man across me with a camera in his hand, but no matter what he was doing my reaction was unacceptable.”
‘I have to accept whatever comes my way’
Greater Manchester Police said on Monday they were not investigating the incident, and had received no complaint from the man driving the car Carragher spat at.
Carragher, who said he had apologised over the phone to the family involved, said he would accept any consequences.
He said: “I’m in no position to question or disagree if someone wants to have a pop or the police want to speak to me. I’ve done a bad thing and have to accept whatever comes my way.
“I’m upset for them, my family and everyone involved. It’s been something we all could have done without but all I can do now is apologise.”
Asked if he had explained the incident to his family yet, Carragher said he had not as he had travelled down to London early on Monday.
“They will be aware of the media storm,” he said. “I’ve let my family down but I’ve let the family in the car opposite me down. They’re my main worry for yesterday and today.
“That family won’t be used to the media storm and being dragged into it.
“I got in touch with them last night and today is about going public and apologising to the family and the public watching who were offended and rightly so.”
Will he stay as a Sky pundit?
Sky’s statement did not say how long Carragher’s suspension would last.
Asked about his future with the company, he said: “We’ve met up today and it was about finding out the facts.
“They’re disappointed I’ve dragged their name through the mud. That’s not what they’re about and I’ve let them down big time.
“I love my job and would love the opportunity to stay.
“Hopefully I’ll be judged not right now but over a longer period of time and this incident won’t cloud all of it but it’s a big incident and it won’t go away.”
Carragher was due to act as a pundit for Danish television channel TV3 Sport – which is part of the Modern Times Group media company – on Tuesday.
MTG Sport executive vice-president Peter Norrelund said his company had sent an employee to speak to Carragher before deciding what further action to take.
“I want to listen to his version,” he said. “With the impact of the story there was no need to send him to Old Trafford for the game.”
Neville backing for Carragher
Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville works alongside Carragher for Sky Sports, and believes his colleague should keep his role.
“I’ve just watched Jamie Carragher say sorry,” he said. “No excuses, he’s made a big mistake.
“He’s massively passionate about football and he’s overstepped the mark and shouldn’t have reacted.
“I’ve been on TV for three years with him and, in my opinion, this isolated incident shouldn’t stop us working together.”
Sports minister Tracey Crouch said Carragher’s behaviour was “disgusting” and Sky Sports were right to suspend him.
“I think spitting is disgusting full stop,” she said at the Checkatrade EFL Community Club of the Year Awards. “I think it’s right Sky Sports have taken the action.
“I know he’s apologised, he’s right to apologise, it was absolutely disgusting.
“He has said himself he’s a father and he wouldn’t be happy with someone spitting at his daughter.
“It’s right to apologise and Sky Sports are right to have taken the decision they have.”