Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio apologized Wednesday for saying he “didn’t see racism at all in the NFL” in comments he made to reporters Tuesday.
“After reflecting on my comments yesterday and listening to the players this morning, I realize that what I said about racism and discrimination in the NFL was wrong,” Fangio, 61, said in a statement. statement published on the team’s Twitter account. “Although I have never personally experienced such terrible things firsthand during my 33 years in the NFL, I understand that many players, coaches and staff have different perspectives.
“It should have been clearer and I’m sorry.”
Fangio said in the Tuesday call that he was “shocked, sad and angry” at the death of George Floyd, calling it “a social problem that we all need to unite to correct.”
But the next comment Fangio made on Tuesday was the one he wanted to clarify.
“I think our problems in the NFL in that regard are minimal,” said Fangio, who has been in the ranks of the NFL coaches since 1986, except in 2010 when he was the defensive coordinator for Stanford. “We are a meritocracy league, you get what you get, you get what you get. I don’t see racism at all in the NFL, I don’t see discrimination in the NFL.”
Fangio said that comment was too short-sighted.
“I wanted to clarify yesterday that there is no color in the locker rooms I have been in or on the playing fields I have trained on,” Fangio said in the statement on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, we don’t live or work alone within those boundaries. Outside those lines, both in the NFL and in society, there is much work to be done in the areas of diversity and providing overall opportunities for minorities.
“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.”
Floyd, 46, died May 25 in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes after Floyd was suspected of having spent a counterfeit $ 20 bill.
The charges against Chauvin were updated on Wednesday. He now faces the most serious second-degree murder charge, in addition to the original charges of third-degree murder and second-degree murder with guilty negligence.
The other officers on the scene Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34, are now being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murders and aiding and abetting homicides in second grade.