Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens punched a man over the weekend in Southern California, a fight the retired soccer great said Monday was self-defense.
TMZ video originally posted of the altercation that unfolded Saturday night in Inglewood after Owens, best known for his years with the San Francisco 49ers before enjoying productive seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, went shopping at a CVS pharmacy .
Owens, 48, told NBC News Monday afternoon that TMZ footage accurately showed the fisticuffs, but did not capture what led up to the fight.
Once he entered the store, Owens said a customer approached him, identified himself as a San Francisco 49ers fan, and they exchanged pleasantries.
But a second customer approached them and threatened that 49ers fan before they all made their purchases and left, according to Owens.
«The guy I ended up fighting with, he was basically threatening a guy, a fan of mine who was in the store.» Owens said.
«When we got out he came up to both of us and I was trying to stop this guy from jumping on the fan. I tried to defuse or defuse the situation. He was persistent and wanted to hit the guy. I didn’t.» I don’t want that to happen.»
Owens said he and a store clerk, who was also out, initially believed they had calmed the scene and managed to keep the second customer away from the first.
«Then he hit me when he thought I wasn’t paying attention,» Owens said of the narrow miss.
«At that point I went into ready defense mode. Not just for myself, but for the other guy as well.»
TMZ reported that the man who was punched by Owens did not call police.
A representative for the Inglewood Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Even two days later, Owens said he hasn’t been able to understand why the man was so aggressive with the 49ers fan.
«I don’t know. He was looking at the guy the whole time,» Owens recalled.
«He said the guy said something to him. But the (49ers) fan was on the phone when I was talking to him. When he talked to me, he was on the phone. So maybe he confused the guy by saying something, but he didn’t.» HE».
Owens said he splits his time between homes in southern California and Florida.
Earlier this year, Owens posted video of a confrontation with a Florida neighbor who had complained about his driving and called the police.
Andres Blankstein contributed.