Broncos coach Fangio apologizes for comments

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio on Wednesday apologized for his comments to reporters on Tuesday that he doesn’t “see racism at all in the NFL.”

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, he said: “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. 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.

“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 society — there is a lot of work to be done in the areas of diversity and providing opportunities across the board 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.”

On Tuesday, in his media availability, he called George Floyd’s death while in police custody a “societal issue that we all have to join in to correct,” but he said he doesn’t see discrimination or racism as problems overall in the NFL.

“I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal. 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,” Fangio told reporters Tuesday when asked about his experiences in the league over the past four decades. “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.”

Floyd, a black man, died last week in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. Fangio opened Tuesday’s call by saying he was outraged by what happened.

ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.

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