College Quarterback Issues Public Apology for Eating Sushi Off of Nude Model on Below Deck
"I should have exercised better judgment and declined the idea immediately when it was brought up by the producers," UNLV quarterback Max Gilliam tweeted this week
A college quarterback who appeared on the Bravo reality show, Below Deck, has apologized after he was filmed eating food off of a nude model while onboard a yacht earlier this year.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas quarterback Max Gilliam tweeted a lengthy apology on Monday regarding his appearance on an episode of the series that aired in November. In it, Gilliam, who was among a group who chartered the yacht featured on the series, is shown eating sushi off of a nude model, which — as Vulture points out — is part of a Japanese practice known as "nyotaimori."
“I would like to apologize for my poor judgment while on the TV show Below Deck and acknowledge that I have made a mistake that I will learn from,” the Thousand Oaks, California, native tweeted. “While it was not my idea nor any of my friends’ ideas to eat sushi off of a model, I should have exercised better judgment and declined the idea immediately when it was brought up by the producers."
According to Food and Wine, nyotaimori gained popularity hundreds of years ago during the Edo period in Japan, when warriors looked for ways to celebrate after returning from battle. The practice eventually became popular at Western events, such as bachelor parties.
But nyotaimori has been criticized by some for sexually objectifying the models who participate, the outlet said (though others have also defended it).
While Gilliam did not specify what he was apologizing for in relation to the sushi incident, he expressed his hope to leave it in the past.
“This is not a reflection of my character or the way I was raised nor a reflection of the culture of UNLV Football," Gilliam continued in his tweet.
"I would like to humbly move past this and focus my time and energy on our game against the University of Hawaii this weekend.”
ESPN reported that while the episode aired in November, it was filmed in February or March. Gilliam's coach, Marcus Arroyo, told the outlet he spoke with the quarterback about how he should carry himself in public.
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"When we talk intently about what we're building here, we mean thoroughly and completely," Arroyo told the outlet. "Each of our players, especially our senior leadership, must recognize that when we go out in public we're representing this team, this university and the alumni and fan base."
"How we conduct ourselves in public is just as important as how we do on the field," he added. "I was made aware of Max's recent statement and it is apparent that he also agrees."
Bravo declined to comment to PEOPLE.
UNLV's football team is currently 0-5 and hopes to pick up their first victory when they play Hawaii on Saturday.