backpedal

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Related to backpedals: backpedalled
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backpedal

To quickly and often abruptly reverse or retreat from one's position or opinion on a given subject. Refers to pedaling backwards on a bicycle (done to apply the brakes on fixed-gear bikes), or to taking quick, backward steps, as in football or boxing. The actor had to backpedal when he let slip a racist remark during the press conference.
References in periodicals archive ?
The defender will backpedal with the receiver keeping his eyes focused on the receiver's hip.