Former Sunderland striker and chairman Niall Quinn has expressed sympathy with the club's boss David Moyes who landed himself in hot water for joking to a BBC reporter she "might get a slap".
Quinn was keen to highlight the pressure that Moyes is currently under but did say that he "reacted badly".
The manager of the Premier League's bottom club said today he "deeply regrets" the remarks made to Vicki Sparks after a draw with Burnley on March 18.
Both Moyes and Sparks can be heard laughing throughout the exchange which took place after the post-match press conference, during which she asked him if he was under extra pressure as the club chairman Ellis Short had made a rare appearance at a game.
"I deeply regret the comments I made", Moyes told a press conference this afternoon.
"That's certainly not the person I am. I've accepted the mistake. I spoke to the BBC reporter, who accepted my apology."
Former Republic of Ireland international Quinn told Sky Sports today that the Scot is working in the Premier League's hardest job.
"It's the most pressurised job in the league right now. You say it's tough at the top, it is so tougher at the bottom and, not making excuses for David Moyes here, but the pressure he is under is enormous.
"It's been a sea of negativity for so long, in and around the football club and he's reacted. Badly, obviously. He's feeling strained and under pressure and he's made a mistake.
"He's apologised. It's been accepted and I'm pleased to hear that and I'm pleased he's not standing over it.
"In the heat of battle, even if it's not out on the pitch, even if not shouting at a fourth official, even if he's brought that into the press room afterward."
Quinn believes that the manager did the right thing in the end by apologising to the reporter and admitting that he was wrong.
"I understand why it happened, I'm not condoning why it happened, I understand why it happened. He's trying to make the best out of it that he can, realising he's wrong he's put his hands up. That's as good as it can be for him.
"I would have a certain sympathy but at the same time it shouldn't have happened. [There's] enough problems in David Moyes and Sunderland's life right now without that but it's hopefully in a better place, now that he's come out and apologised."
Meanwhile Women in Football expressed concern after hearing, what it calls, the "threatening language" used by the Sunderland manager.
The group says it's pleased to hear Moyes has apologised and it thinks the English FA should better educate managers.
The FA has said it will write and ask for the manager to explain himself.