Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio has been extremely outspoken over the last few days. After one controversial comment on racism in the NFL, he’s walked things back a bit.
“I was shocked, sad and angry when I saw the policeman do to a handcuffed George Floyd on his stomach that led to his death,’’ Fangio said on Tuesday, per 9News. He went on to make one of the stronger statements we’ve seen on officer Derek Chauvin, who recently had the main charge against him bumped up to second-degree murder. “He should be punished to the fullest extent of the law from the crimes he has been charged with — in addition to being charged with treason for failing to uphold the badge and uniform he was entrusted with.
Fangio turned more of a blind eye towards issues within his NFL, though. “I don’t see racism at all in the NFL, I don’t see discrimination in the NFL,” Fangio said, calling it a “league of meritocracy.” “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.”
Of course, you don’t need to go very far to disprove Fangio there. Colin Kaepernick hasn’t thrown a pass since 2016 after protesting against racism and police brutality. The league has a team whose name is a racial slur. Those are just two obvious examples of racism marring the league right now. After an outcry, Fangio has apologized.
“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."
A statement from Head Coach Vic Fangio: pic.twitter.com/5yNNDn9VzY
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 3, 2020
“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 wrote in the statement. “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 experiences.”
“I should have been more clear, and I am sorry.”
Multiple NFL players shared their thoughts on Fangio’s comments ahead of this apology. Former head coach Tony Dungy also weighed in on Golic and Wingo, agreeing with Fangio in terms of on-field issues, but disagreeing as a whole given the struggles of minority coaching and front office candidates. Via ESPN:
“To say there’s no racism and no problem, I think, really is not recognizing the situation,” Dungy said. “As you said, the league has talked about having 70-75% African American players and no black [team] presidents, just a couple of black general managers. … It is not a complete meritocracy, even though it’s a great place. And I think the same thing could be said of our country.”
We can always use more people in power learning, admitting when they’re wrong, and vowing to get better. Hopefully Vic Fangio isn’t the only one as we wade through the issues our country faces.