Speaking with a Boston Globe columnist, Lackey said it was "retarded" to make too much of reports about some Red Sox starters drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse last year during games when they weren't pitching.
On Tuesday, Lackey issued a written statement released by the Red Sox.
"I apologize for my thoughtless choice of words that appeared in print earlier today. I meant no harm, and I am sorry to all I offended," he said.
Lackey is recovering from Tommy John surgery in November and will not pitch this season. He is entering the third season of a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Red Sox.