A Boston business chief who broke the public silence of a 225-year-old Harvard social club is apologizing for what he said.

Charlie Storey, the president of Boston's Harpoon Brewery, wrote a letter to Harvard's student newspaper defending the school's social clubs for refusing to accept women. He was writing as graduate president of the Porcellian Club, a storied Harvard club that formed in 1791 and is known for its long tradition of secrecy.

Storey wrote that allowing women in the club could increase the risk of sexual assault. Critics on social media countered that the club should teach its members not to sexually assault people.

In a message posted to Harpoon Brewery's website on Wednesday, Storey apologized for the letter and said he takes the issue of sexual assault seriously.