Vic Fangio sees racism as a problem in society as a whole, but not as much in the NFL.
The Denver Broncos head coach, talking on Tuesday on a videoconferencing call, spoke out in favor of societal changes in the wake of George Floyd’s death. He then went on to defend the NFL’s record on race.
Asked about the evolution of player activism during his NFL career, Fangio said: “I don’t know that it’s changed a whole lot, to be honest with you. I haven’t seen a great, great change other than — I just don’t think there’s been a tremendous change and I don’t say that to be negative. 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,” Fangio said. “I don’t see discrimination in the NFL. We live in a great atmosphere. Like I alluded to earlier, we’re lucky. 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.”
Fangio had said earlier on the call that he “was shocked, sad and angry when I saw what the policeman [did] to a handcuffed George Floyd on his stomach that led to his death... It’s a societal issue that we all have to join in to correct.”
“The Minnesota cop failed the 99 percent of the police that do a great job and we are all paying a price for that,” he said. “I’ve listened to many people talk the past few days. The one that resonated with me the most was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He also recognized that 98 to 99 percent of the police do a tremendous job in tough situations and we must do all we can to correct the small percentage that don’t do a great job on a daily basis. Kareem was one person talking sensibly and with solutions. This is not a political issue.”
Multiple media reports have said that nearly 70 percent of NFL players last season were African American.
The NFL last month announced changes to the “Rooney rule,” which requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and top front office positions, adding to the number of applicants who must be considered.
The league tabled a proposal to offer draft pick incentives for teams that hire minority head coaches or general managers.
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