Broncos head coach Vic Fangio apologized on Wednesday for comments he made on Tuesday when he said, in part, "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 said on Wednesday in a statement that he realized what he 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," he said in a statement. "I should have been more clear and I am sorry."
Fangio's comments come amid ongoing protests in the United States related to police brutality and racial injustice.
The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was killed in Minneapolis last week after being violently apprehended by police.
Four Minneapolis police officers were fired last week after a viral video appeared to show one of them kneeling on the neck of Floyd, who cried that he could not breathe.
Last Friday, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was was seen on video kneeling on Floyd's neck, was fired and then arrested on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On Wednesday afternoon, the murder charge against Chauvin was also elevated to second-degree murder.
It was also announced Wednesday that former officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng are facing charges of aiding and abetting murder.
Fangio opened his media availability on Tuesday by saying he was outraged what had happened to Floyd.
"I was shocked, sad and angry when I saw the policeman do to a handcuffed George Floyd on his stomach that led to his death,'' Fangio said. "[Chauvin] should be punished to the full extent of the law of the crimes he was charged with, in addition to being charged with treason for failing to uphold the badge and uniform he was entrusted with. ... It's a societal issue that we all have to join in to correct.''