Broncos coach apologises for statements on racism
ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (AP):
Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio is apologising for suggesting discrimination and racism aren't problems in the NFL.
"After reflecting on my comments yesterday and listening to the players this morning, I realise what I said regarding racism and discrimination in the NFL was wrong," Fangio said in an apology posted on the team's Twitter account yesterday.
"While I have never personally experienced those terrible things first-hand during my 33 years in the NFL, I understand that many players, coaches and staff have different perspectives," Fangio added. "I should have been more clear and I am sorry."
Fangio said he only meant to convey that in his experience, those ills didn't exist in locker rooms or on the playing field where teams rallied behind common goals. "Unfortunately, we don't live or work only within those confines," Fangio said. "Outside of those lines - both in the NFL and society - there is a lot of work to be done in the areas of diversity and providing opportunities across the board for minorities."
He said his lengthy apology by saying, "I look forward to listening to the players - both individually and collectively - to support them and work hand in hand to create meaningful change."
Fangio, a 61-year-old white head coach, faced plenty of blowback on social media and was criticised as being tone-deaf after his comments in a video call with members of the media on Tuesday. He had suggested discrimination and racism weren't issues in the NFL.
Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs tweeted, "Is he blind??" and his teammate, running back Chris Carson, called Fangio "a joke". Diggs and Carson are black.
Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy told ESPN's Golic and Wingo that while he concurred with Fangio's view of an NFL meritocracy on the playing field, the league wasn't immune to society's ills. "To say there's no racism and no problem, I think, really is not recognising the situation," Dungy said.
Fangio's original comments came in the context of explaining diverse NFL locker rooms rallying around common causes of teamwork and goal-setting.
Fangio began Tuesday's call with a repudiation of the white police officer in Minneapolis who was charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed.