WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDSU) — A retired owner of Rouses Markets spoke on the radio Friday to apologize again for his attendance at a protest that turned violent at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
Donald Rouse Sr., who is the owner of Rouses Markets, issued a statement Wednesday after a photo of him surfaced online showing his attendance at the rally that turned violent on Capitol Hill.
The photo caused many people to comment on Rouses’ social media platforms condemning his attendance.
Rouse Sr. spoke with WBOK where he clarified that he has been retired from the family business for four years.
He also explained why he attended the rally and apologized again for his attendance.
Rouse Sr. explained that his son asked him to not attend the rally, but that he didn’t listen.
He said the move was in poor judgment.
“I went there because I thought it was going to be a historical time. The president was going to make one of his last speeches and that’s why I wanted to go,” Rouse Sr. said “I stayed for about three-quarters of his speech, and then went back to the hotel.”
Rouse Sr. said he had lunch and took a nap before he heard about the riot.
“I didn’t even know what insurrection was until just recently,” Rouse Sr. said on the radio show. “I feel very bad for our team members who are being harmed by my poor judgment.”
Callers pressed Rouse Sr. on his attendance, including actor Wendall Pierce.
Rouse Sr. said he wished he could take it back and also admitted he should have spoken sooner.
Terrebonne Parish NAACP President Jerome Boykin was also on the call and supported Rouse Sr., saying he spoke to him personally about his attendance and outlined ways he had given back to the Black community.
Rouse Sr. reiterated at the end of the call that he would do everything and anything he could to improve conditions for employees with his family’s business, and would work on being a better person.