A day after using the F-word in televised remarks at an L.A. Kings victory party, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti apologized Tuesday to those who found it offensive — and suggested that they lighten up.
“I think I was just being myself for a moment there,” Garcetti told reporters who surrounded him at a South L.A. shopping mall after an otherwise routine speech at a Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce lunch.
The swarm of TV news crews was as sure a sign as any that Garcetti’s burst of profanity had jolted the public image of a mayor who is often described as low key.
“Look, I think people should be kind of light about this,” Garcetti said. “It’s something that plenty of people have heard in their lives for sure.”
KNBC-TV treporter Conan Nolan asked the mayor if his cussing contributed to the coarsening of society.
“I think you’re way overanalyzing,” Garcetti responded.
“Really?” Nolan asked.
“I do,” Garcetti said.
“We micro-analyze everything,” he added. “We ought to let people be people. I was just being a person yesterday. I’m sorry if folks were offended.”
Garcetti said he got “carried away” by the celebration of the Kings’ victory over the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Holding a beer and toasting the Kings on Monday in televised remarks to a crowd of thousands at Staples Center, Garcetti said, “They say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and never swear. But this is a big…day” — a phrase his office later abbreviated on Twitter as “BFD.”
The crowd cheered and thousands of Kings fans on Twitter soon heaped praise on Garcetti; a much smaller group took offense.
“If there’s one thing hockey fans understand, it’s enthusiasm,” Garcetti said. “But it was electric in there. And it was electrifying.”
The mayor was coy about how calculated his remarks were. As Garcetti arrived at the mall, a supporter joked about the mayor’s swearing on TV. Garcetti laughed and responded, “It just slipped out.”
Asked later whom he told in advance about what he planned to say, Garcetti said he might have mentioned it ahead of time to City Councilman Curren Price, who was seated next to him in the arena.
“I don’t think anybody,” Garcetti said. “Maybe Curren … but I don’t think anybody.”
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