"In a recent radio interview a caller got really confrontational with me," Jackson said through a spokesman. "I got very heated with the caller, took it a bit too far and did not mean to offend anybody. I meant no disrespect and a better choice of words was needed."
Jackson made the comments June 30 on the "All Out Show" with Rude Jude and Lord Sear on Sirius XM's "Shade 45," an Eminem-styled hip-hop channel. When a caller identifying himself as "Troy in Tennessee" asked a question that rubbed Jackson the wrong way, the wideout responded with an off-color slur, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
Before issuing the statement, Jackson reacted to the growing firestorm on Twitter, writing: "WANNA BRING ME DOWN BUT IM OK!! THEY TRYIN KNOCC ME OFF BUT IM STILL ON!!" Jackson also tweeted: "THEY LOOKN 2 TAKE YA DOWN AT ALL TIMES NO MATTER HOW POSITIVE AND WHAT U DO!! ITS ALWAYS AWAY THEY TRY TO GET YA.... IM STANDIN TALL"
Those tweets appeared to be later deleted.
In a series of tweets later Saturday, Jackson appeared considerably more polished and contrite.
"I am sorry for using words that I know to be hurtful and unacceptable in a recent radio interview." he wrote. "Intolerance is unacceptable and I apologize to anyone I have offended. ... I have made a mistake and would like to make it clear that words I used meant no disrespect to the Gay and Lesbian community."
Jackson has emerged as one of the top playmakers in football, both on special teams and as Michael Vick's favorite deep target. Jackson finished last season with 47 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns.