RICHMOND, Texas — A Texas sheriff said Friday he has apologized to New England Patriots player Elandon Roberts for the actions of a deputy who referred to the linebacker’s race and size during a March traffic stop, but also defended the deputy’s comment and the stop.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said during a news conference that he spoke with Roberts and his attorney and said the deputy should not have taken so long with the March 10 traffic stop.

Roberts was stopped as he pulled into the driveway of his Houston-area home, and Nehls also said Deputy Adam Watkins was wrong to order Roberts’ wife back inside the home when she saw flashing lights and stepped outside.

Watkins, who is white, was issued a verbal reprimand for how he conducted the stop. But the stop, which was captured on dash-cam video, was warranted because Roberts was traveling 59 mph in a 35 mph zone as he traveled home, Nehls said.

Watkins, in speaking to a colleague, referred to Roberts as a “big, black male,” but Nehls defended the reference to race, saying the deputy was simply offering a description of the driver. The sheriff didn’t comment on why it was necessary for the deputy to invoke Roberts’ race.

Roberts, 25, in a statement to USA Today was critical of his treatment, saying, “Unfortunately, these types of things are happening all too often to African Americans.”

Holtz said Watkins, a rookie only on the job a few months when the stop occurred, became nervous when he saw Roberts initially get out of his car. He said the mistakes Watkins committed were understandable in light of his inexperience.

PACKERS: The team reported a profit of just $724,000 in its latest fiscal year, which included a second straight season without a playoff appearance, a large contract extension for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a change in head coach from Mike McCarthy to Matt LaFleur.

Green Bay’s profit in the year ending March 31 was down 97.9 percent from $34.1 million in the year ending March 2018, and more than 99 percent from the record $75 million in the previous fiscal year.

The team has $397 million in its corporate reserve fund.

RAIDERS: Guard Richie Incognito has been suspended without pay by the NFL for the first two games of the regular season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Incognito, 36, pleaded guilty in April to disorderly conduct in Scottsdale, Arizona, after being accused of threatening employees at a funeral home where his father’s body was being held.

The Raiders signed Incognito in May. The four-time Pro Bowler sat out last season in retirement.

JETS: Second-year tight end Chris Herndon was suspended without pay by the NFL for the first four regular-season games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Herndon pleaded guilty in January to driving while intoxicated in New Jersey in June 2018. The incident occurred about a month after he was selected by the Jets in the fourth round of the NFL draft out of Miami.

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