On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after his statements received heavy criticism, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio amended his comments on racism and discrimination in the NFL.
“I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal,” Fangio said during Tuesday’s press conference. “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.”
Those statements were immediately met with backlash, with detractors bringing up Colin Kaepernick and the lack of minority representation among the league’s coaches, owners, and front office personnel.
"I think it might be one of the most ignorant comments I've ever heard a professional coach make."@stephenasmith is stunned by Broncos coach Vic Fangio's comments regarding discrimination and racism not being prevalent in the NFL, calling them "shameful." pic.twitter.com/63FVlYnqiy
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 3, 2020
After getting hit with the backlash and reportedly talking with some Broncos players on Wednesday, Fangio quickly apologized for what he said the day prior.
“After reflecting on my comments yesterday and listening to the players this morning,” Fangio said via a Broncos press release. “I realize what I said regarding racism and discrimination in the NFL was wrong. 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.”
“I should have been more clear and I am sorry,” Fangio continued.
“I wanted to make the point yesterday that there is no color in the locker rooms I have been in or 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 society — there is a lot of work to be done in the areas of diversity and providing opportunities across the board for minorities,” Fangio said.
“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.”