Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks and Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots exchange words late in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.

Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks and Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots exchange words late in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.

*Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin apologized Monday for his role in the Super Bowl brawl that followed perhaps the worst play call in NFL history.

The fight with the New England Patriots in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XLIX resulted in Irvin’s ejection from the game. The athlete took to Twitter today to explain how he was overcome with emotion after seeing teammate Michael Bennett get hit.

What had happened was…

With 20 seconds remaining in the game, Patriots QB Tom Brady was just trying to take a knee at his 5-yard line to seal the 28-24 victory. But, Irvin got in a shoving match with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski…

Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks and Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots exchange words after a play late in the game during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona

Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks and Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots exchange words after a play late in the game during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona

…and then he was pushed from behind by Patriots guard Ryan Wendell.

Then all hell broke loose.

Wendell and Irvin were tussling in the back of the end zone undetected by officials, who were busy trying to handle the pile of players in the middle of the field.

Irvin and Patriots tight end Michael Hoomanawanui were locked up when Irvin threw him to the ground.

“I was protecting a teammate, emotions flew,” Irvin said Sunday night. “I saw somebody hit Mike Bennett, so I went and backed up my brother. I went about it wrong. Emotions were flying high, and I apologize.

“But if it happened again, I would go protect my teammate. That’s just how it is.”

Watch the whole brawl unfurl below: