Jermaine Jones, the German-based U.S. national team midfielder serving an eight-week suspension for stomping on the foot of Borussia Moenchenglabach's Marco Reus, said he regretted his action and deserved punishment but blamed the length of the suspension (six league games) to a media witch hunt.
"It was a mistake, the action was not correct," said Jones, whose attack appeared premeditated because Reus was known to have an injured toe on the foot Jones stomped on. "If I could go back in time I would undo what I did. … If I did it when I was 20, OK, that could be considered a youthful mistake. But I'm 30 and this can not be."
Jones denied that he planned the attack before the German Cup game: "It was simply a matter of seconds. I wanted to advance to win the Cup. Then you don't think and you make a mistake that you later regret."
But Jones blamed the media for the length of the suspension: "It can't be that a big tabloid newspaper says, 'We demand severe punishment.' That had a bit of a witch hunt to it. My children go to school and are asked, 'Why is your dad a Bad Boy?"