Vic Fangio: I was wrong to say there’s no racism in the NFL

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Broncos head coach Vic Fangio raised quite a few eyebrows around the league on Tuesday when he told reporters that he doesn’t “see racism at all” in the NFL and he heard some responses from inside and outside the organization after making that comment.

The public responses were uniformly negative and it doesn’t sound like the ones inside the Broncos were much more receptive to Fangio’s view about the landscape of the league. Fangio said he spoke to some of the team’s players on Wednesday and later issued a statement revisiting his previous comments and apologizing for not being clearer about the point he wanted to make about life inside of a football team.

The contents of that statement appear in full below:

“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 more clear and I am sorry.”

“I wanted to make the point yesterday that here is no color within the locker room 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 the and work hand-in-hand to create meaningful change.”

26 responses to “Vic Fangio: I was wrong to say there’s no racism in the NFL

  1. I understood what he meant, there is no race difference in the locker room, either you can play or you cannot.

    Settle down woke warriors and give the coach a break, he owned his initial comment.

  2. Vic Fangio is a good guy, and I think initially (in context) he was speaking from what is in his heart of no racism.

  3. Let me say it again just so maybe if some people missed it. If people or media ask you questions about some things you might just wan’t to consider KEEPING YOUR FEELING TO YOURSELF. We all know what opinions are like …. everybody’s got one. Don’t get hooked. It’s too easy to not really express how you feel or say something that you don’t really know what your saying (like Grant Napeir). I always say “I need to look further into it” and it and just leave it at that.

  4. All this talk about racial harmony in the NFL locker room. That’s because everyone is well off. Even the lowest paid practice squad player.

    Add in some real poverty in the locker room, and then see how well everyone gets along.

  5. It has become apparent that white personnel should not even discuss this situation. There is racism in the NFL – over population of one race at the player position; and then in staff and management; and only one opinion here is the correct one. And it is not the one held by anyone who isn’t black.

  6. Was a pretty dumb comment to make in the first place but does he really need to issue a public apology for this? What is going on in the world right now?! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills (Mugatu voice)

  7. As a person of color, I roll my eyes at people who say there is no racism or discrimination. You haven’t been followed in stores, eyed suspiciously, pulled over for absolutely no reason to “check things out”, etc. You don’t know what it’s like to be judged on the color of your skin or eye shape

  8. Everyone wants everyone else to have an opinion and express it publicly but then get upset when Vic expresses his own personal perspective. Nothing he said was the least bit racist nor was it directed at anyone. If this is offensive, Drew Brees would be out of the league for his comment.

  9. This underscores the point that maybe it would be wise to delay making a comment until you have given some well thought out responses, especially for those who have NEVER experienced the realities of life in America from a black mans perspective and thus have no true empathy.

  10. The rest of his statement should have read “I should have never said that aloud. Ownership and management told me to fix this ASAP.”

  11. I am not a fan of this “apologize” culture we live in today. However, I think right now it’s best to stop making blanketed statements like there is no racism. It comes off ignorant. I understand Fangio meant well and is a good guy but part of problem around race has been this lack of “acknowledgement” and “awareness” that racism in-fact does exist in every fabric of our society. Practice fairness, equity and respect, but don’t say the opposite doesn’t exist.

  12. Good on you Vic for keeping an open mind, listening to others and changing your opinion when it seemed appropriate.

    No matter what the situation is, everyone should follow this type of model. Looking at you fellow commentors!

  13. The truth is that it was not thought out,
    An ignorant comment from a lack luster coach who isn’t in touch with society OR his team.

  14. He spoke his truth when you’ve lived your entire life not having to be discriminated against you only know and think white

  15. The disparity in this country has more to do with green than it does black or white. Regardless of what shade color you are, if you’re rich you can do whatever you want. Look no further than OJ Simpson or our president (this one or any of the ones before him, for that matter).

    Green is the only color that matters. So all these celebrities pining about inequalities is the biggest joke of them all.

  16. It was a misstep. I believe it to be an honest one. He has owned it.

    Move on, there’s bigger fish to fry.

  17. Some of you beat me to it. But Fangio is wrong. Where on earth is there not shred of racism?

    Is it reasonable to set a goal of eliminating racism?

    If we’re saying it’s systematic, let’s talk about the systems and propose solutions??

  18. I just want to say to PFT – thanks for not over-moderating. I think the discussion is healthy, football related or not. America is hurting right now and people talking about the whys is good.

    Proverbial hat off.

  19. Look, I like Fangio, but 33 years in league and you NEVER saw racism? C’mon man.

  20. Coaches need to go to the Bill Belichik school of Communications. Take a refresher course or two.

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