In a recent interview, head coach of the Denver Broncos, Vic Fangio, said that he doesn’t think the NFL experiences racism.
According to Jeff Legwold of ESPN, Fangio believes racism in the league, is limited. The same league that won’t give Colin Kaepernick a job.
“I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal,” Fangio reportedly said. “We’re a league of meritocracy, you earn what you get, you get what you earn. I don’t see racism at all in the NFL, I don’t see discrimination in the NFL. We all live together, joined as one, for one common goal, and we all intermingle and mix tremendously. If society reflected an NFL team, we’d all be great.”
His comments were met with backlash by other players, including #ChrisCarson of the Seahawks calling him “a joke,” while his teammate #QuandreDiggs asked, “is he blind?”
Former NFL player, #TerrellOwens also called Fangio out on Twitter.
“HE NEEDS TO BE DRUG TESTED!!! What does he think that was against @Kaepernick7,” Owens wrote.
Fangio also spoke on the recent killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers.
“I was shocked, sad, and angry when I saw what the policeman do to a handcuffed George Floyd on his stomach that led to his death,” Fangio stated. “He should be punished to the full extent of the law of the crimes he was charged with in addition to being charged with treason for failing to uphold the badge and uniform he was entrusted with. … It’s a societal issue that we all have to join in to correct.”
Fangio has since apologized for his controversial remarks in a statement.
“After reflecting on my comments yesterday and listening to the players this morning, I realize what I said regarding racism and discrimination in the NFL was wrong,” Fangio’s statement reads. “While I have never personally experienced those terrible things first-hand during my 33 years in the NFL, I understand many players, coaches, and staff have different perspectives.”
Fangio continued by adding that he “should have been more clear, and I am sorry,” explaining that there’s no color “within the locker rooms.”
“I wanted to make the point yesterday that there is no color within the locker rooms I have been in or on the playing fields I have coached on. Unfortunately, we don’t live or work only within those confines. Outside of those lines — both in the NFL and in society — there is a lot of work to be done in the areas of diversity and providing opportunities across the board for minorities,” he continued.
He revealed that his players have his attention, and he is willing to work to make “meaningful change.”
“As the head coach, I look forward to listening to the players — both individually and collectively — to support them and work hand-in-hand to create meaningful change,” he said.
— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) June 3, 2020