After Eagles training camp practice on Thursday afternoon, Nelson Agholor spoke to reporters for the first time since he was accused of sexual assault in early June. Agholor, who won't face charges (per the Philadelphia District Attorney), seemed remorseful about his situation. Here's everything the 23-year old wide receiver had to say.
"To be honest, there were times when I thought that the opportunity to play for this organization, to have the life I have, could have been taken away from me. So it allows you to kind of be more grateful, and have a good perspective on life."
How much did Doug Pederson emphasize you represent the team and city?
"Aw, man. From Doug this year, and having opportunity being drafted by Chip and Howie, and Mr. Lurie … they all have given me a great understanding. I fell short of my mission. I should have done a better job. From here on out, I have an opportunity to do the right thing and be the right person for this organization.
Initial reaction to the allegations?
"Tough. Tough. For a few days, I sat back and I was in shock. But after awhile I had to realize I put myself in this position. All I can do is grow. Find different ways to get closer to my family. Get closer to the people that have my back and just continue to grow. And to also train. But I couldn’t let it defeat me twice. In fact, if what happened to me, if I just sat around and moped, I wouldn’t be prepared to perform today. So I just continued to train, stay with my family, get myself ready."
What did you parents say?
"My parents were disappointed, but they also understand that the best thing I can do is respond the right way. The actions were the actions, but what was I going to do after that and from here on out? I was closer to my older brother, taking care of my little sister, being there for my family, being there every day, making the right decisions from here on out. And they were proud of the way I responded."
What’s your version of the story?
"I can’t really get into that."
Do you feel like you did nothing wrong?
"You know what, I put myself in that position being there. To be honest with you, as I look at it, at the end of the day, it’s either neutral or negative consequences of being in a place like that. So I made the wrong decision being there."
What’s going to change?
"Understanding that every day, I have any opportunity to take care of the life I have and to be a good person. I need to make a conscious effort every day to do the right thing and feed myself the right stuff."
Does something like this motivate you even more?
"It definitely puts me in a position where I truly have to recenter my focus on myself and who I am. Being associated with anything like that is not who I am as a man. Falling short and being associated with that kind of lets you know ‘Man, you gotta find yourself again and truly be yourself.’ And that’s what I’m going to do from here on out.
Your name was cleared legally, but in terms of public perception, are you worried what the perception is going to be now?
"At the end of the day, what I did gives everybody enough to say ‘Hey, man, you did something wrong.’ At the end of the day, they have every right to do that. But as a man, I gotta do stuff from here on out to show who I am as a person and type of man I’ll be."
Can this make you a better person in the long run?
"One hundred percent. You never wish for negative things to happen to you, but they say ‘What don’t kill you makes you stronger.’ And I swear I feel way stronger. I do."
What did you do over the six weeks while dealing with the legal situation?
"I went back to Tampa. Like I was talking about earlier, I was faced with two things. I easily could have let being associated with something like that defeat me. Or I could say ‘OK, this is what I’m facing.’ But I still have an obligation to this football team, to my family. So I continued to train, I continued to be there for my little sister, the rest of my family, and do the right thing."
Did you fall into a pattern of bad behavior or is this an isolated incident?
"I made a decision I wish I didn’t. At the end of the day, from here on out, I have to make a conscious effort every day to feed myself the right stuff. And be around the right people and make the right decisions and also hold myself accountable first thing when I wake up."