FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - A day after tweeting what many deemed insensitive comments regarding the death of Bengals receiver Chris Henry, Jets kicker Jay Feely lamented his poor choice of words Friday but maintained that his sentiments were heartfelt.
On Thursday, Feely tweeted: "Chris Henry seemed to have turned his life around. But you can't live on the brink of destruction without inevitably falling off the ledge.''
That comment seemed especially harsh, given the circumstances of Henry's death. The 26-year-old father of three died after suffering injuries during a fall off the back of a moving vehicle.
"The words I chose were not good words, but I didn't mean for it to come across that way," Feely told Newsday. "When I said 'fall off a ledge,' I didn't even think about it when I wrote it . . . When you have a tragic situation, you need to learn from it so that hopefully, there can be a positive outcome."
Feely said Henry's death was similar to that of his cousin, who passed away two months ago at the age of 27 after a failed attempt to turn his life around.
"He had been in and out of jail, had problems with drugs and alcohol," Feely said. "I visited him in jail and tried to have an impact on him and just couldn't reach him.
"Similarly, he had taken the steps to try to turn his life around and then had an accident and ended up passing away. You see that and you lament the fact that you're not able to reach somebody and get them to take those necessary steps."