Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is under fire for his claim that racism isn’t a problem in the National Football League.
Fangio expressed his comments after being asked about the issue within the NFL following the death of black Minneapolis man George Floyd, who died in police custody.
“I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal,” Fangio 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.”
Over the last few years, some NFL players have participated in protests against police brutality and racism by taking a knee during the national anthem before games. The action received a divided mix of praise and pushback from President Trump and his allies, viewing the act as unpatriotic and disrespectful to the U.S. military.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first one to participate in the protest. The Guardian reports the NFL is also struggling to persuade teams to recruit minority coaches in a league where the majority of players are black.
The Seattle Seahawks’s Chris Carson called Fangio a “joke” over his comments.
This man a joke … https://t.co/RMkJhMp1QI
— Chris Carson (@ccarson_32) June 3, 2020
Fangio has coached in the league since 1986. He subsequently apologized for his words, saying he had never experienced being the victim of racism but understands others may have had different experiences.
“I wanted to make a point yesterday that there is no color within the locker rooms I have been in or on the playing field I have coached on,” Fangio said. “Unfortunately, we don’t live or work only within those confines. Outside of those lines in the NFL and society, there’s a lot of work to be done in the areas of diversity and providing opportunities across the board for minorities.”
Former 49ers safety Eric Reid also criticized the 49ers Twitter account for participating in the social media campaign #blackouttuesday, which aims to show solidarity with protests advocating for justice for Floyd.
Reid and others believe the 49ers rejected Kaepernick for his protests.
“I think you meant Blackball Tuesday…I digress,” Reid said in response to the post.
I think you meant Blackball Tuesday…I digress https://t.co/S0r7IHd7DZ
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) June 2, 2020
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