Former Sportsnet baseball analyst Gregg Zaun, fired last week after “inappropriate behaviour and comments” directed at female colleagues, apologized Monday for the “harm and distress” they suffered.

But the statement, issued by Zaun’s lawyer, also dodges blame for the circumstances leading to Zaun’s firing.

“It has never been my intention to give offense to anyone,” said the statement attributed to the 46-year-old retired major league catcher. “I’ve done a lot of soul searching over the last few days and know that my ignorance of the harm caused by my language does not excuse it – for which I accept responsibility.”

Zaun retired in 2010 after a 16-year major league career that included stints in Toronto, Tampa Bay and Kansas City. In 2011 he earned a permanent spot on Sportsnet’s baseball broadcasts, and spent the next seven seasons cultivating a persona he called the “Manalyst” – a blunt and virile commentator who spouted edgy opinions on the Jays and their players.

After his dismissal last Thursday, female Sportsnet employees describe a co-worker who brought the same rough-edged “Manalyst” persona to the office, making women there extremely uncomfortable.