Broncos' Vic Fangio Says He Was 'Wrong' for Comments About Lack of Racism in NFL

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2020

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 29:  Head coach Vic Fangio of the Denver Broncos works along the sideline during a game against the Oakland Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High on December 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio walked back comments he made addressing the level of discrimination people of color face in the NFL.

Following the killing of George Floyd, many have taken to the streets of cities across the nation to protest and call for reforms addressing police brutality and systemic racism.

In a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Fangio acknowledged the larger work needed to address social injustice but downplayed the extent to which it impacts the NFL, per ESPN's Jeff Legwold:

"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. 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."

On Wednesday, Fangio said in a statement he had missed the mark.

"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," he said. "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 perspective."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

In recent years, many have highlighted the lack of diversity among NFL coaching and front-office ranks.

Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins) and Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns) are the only black general managers, and there are four minority head coaches: Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins), Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers), Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers) and Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins).

ESPN's Mina Kimes pointed to a January 2016 study that found white position coaches and assistants were "more than twice as likely" to receive a coordinator job compared to black coaches with similar resumes.

The NFL amended the Rooney Rule in May to give minority candidates more opportunities to land the most coveted jobs. 

Teams have to interview two minority candidates for a head coaching role and one for a coordinator opening. One minority candidate is also required for a general manager vacancy or similar title.  

Related

    Kaepernick Signs 1st-Look Contract with Disney; ESPN to Produce Docuseries

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Kaepernick Signs 1st-Look Contract with Disney; ESPN to Produce Docuseries

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Rivers Wonders: What If a Player Tests Positive Super Bowl Week?

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Rivers Wonders: What If a Player Tests Positive Super Bowl Week?

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    What Protests Mean for NFL

    Jerry Jones’ silence. Josh Norman's activism. NFL players talk about the impact of this historic moment 📲

    NFL logo
    NFL

    What Protests Mean for NFL

    Kalyn Kahler
    via Bleacher Report

    Top Landing Spots for David Njoku 🔮

    We look at the best teams for the TE in a potential trade

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Top Landing Spots for David Njoku 🔮

    Brad Gagnon
    via Bleacher Report