Joey Votto was doing some damage control on Wednesday, apologizing for remarks he made a day earlier in a podcast with Yahoo! Sports.

The Cincinnati Reds star was asked about fellow Canadian James Paxton throwing a no-hitter for the Seattle Mariners against the Toronto Blue Jays last week at the Rogers Centre, which distanced the slugger from his home country.

Votto, who played for Canada at the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics and won the Lou Marsh Award twice as Canada's athlete of the year, told Yahoo! Sports he "couldn't give a rat's ass" about Paxton being the first Canadian to throw a no-hitter on his home soil.

"I don't care almost at all about Canadian baseball," Votto said on the podcast. "I wasn't raised inside of Canadian baseball really. I'm coming up on half of my life being in the United States working and being supported by American baseball."

For once, though, a professional athlete didn’t try to deflect the criticism or try to rationalize his comments, instead Votto took full ownership of his mistake and apologized. He stated that his comments were out of jealousy, selfishness, pettiness and ego-driven for not getting his big Canadian moment.

Votto, was upset for not making the Junior National Team, not being drafted by the Blue Jays or selected for the Canadian Olympic team in 2004.

While making the media rounds on Wednesday, the Torontonian said he was embarrassed for what he said and that “when they asked the question (about Paxton’s no-hitter in Toronto) I thought to myself, well, I’m from Toronto, I’m not celebrated like that, I don’t care sort of thing.” He now calls his words “cringe-worthy.”

What Votto says he did the most wrong with his statements was to the Canadian kids that look up to him, those that he worked with or instructed at a clinic, “I’m thinking about what the hell are they thinking when I say this sort of thing, ‘Does he not care about me?’ It’s just embarrassing, and it’s so disconnected from how I really feel.”

While Votto believes he hasn’t had a Toronto or Canadian moment, he is wrong. Canadians and more over his fellow Torontonians have celebrated him countess times. They have saluted him for his numerous Canadian awards like the Lou Marsh Award (twice) and his seven Tip O’Neill Awards. As well as all the times he has done the right thing.

Do you remember the kid with cancer that was sitting by the Reds’ dugout and Votto gave him his jersey and at bat following a home run? That is the Votto that many Canadians know and celebrate. A man generous with his time and caring about others.

Just because he hasn’t had that huge moment yet doesn’t mean Canadians do not celebrate him.

While his comments were reckless and hurtful to many that promote the game of baseball in Canada it should not diminish his contributions to Baseball Canada or the game. Yes, many will be upset at Votto for time to come. However, later those comments will be forgotten, and he will be seen as the Canadian baseball hero he already is.

Let’s give Votto some credit, he didn’t take an easy way out of this. He is a remarkable player who made a mistake and genuinely apologized for it.

How Canadian is that?