Vic Fangio Issues Apology After his Controversial Remarks on the State of Racism in the NFL

Chad Jensen

On Tuesday, Denver Broncos' Head Coach Vic Fangio tried to do a good thing by issuing a strong statement condemning police brutality while addressing the need for our society to continue to strive to find solutions to any and all forms of racial inequality. 

Unfortunately, when broaching a subject as complex and sensitive as race and social justice, one must be hyper-aware and choose one's words with the utmost wisdom especially in an environment as volatile as the current state of affairs in the U.S. As a public figure, Coach Fangio learned that the hard way as he woke up Wednesday morning to a cacophony of criticism over a remark made during his Tuesday virtual press conference with media on the subject of whether racism and discrimination towards minorities exist in the modern NFL. 

"I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal," Fangio said on Tuesday. "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 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.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Fangio issued a statement apologizing for the above remark. 

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Fangio is a good man. He cares deeply for his players and over his many decades in the NFL, he has gone above and beyond his responsibilities as a coach to help players off the field. 

‘‘He always just shares with us financial articles about guys losing their money in trying to find the newest Facebook and how they reap the consequences of searching for that,’’ Raiders cornerback Prince Amukamara said once. ‘‘It’s just letting us know to save our money. One of the things he dislikes most or hurts him most is when athletes lose their money on dumb decisions.’’

Fangio has always loved sports and is a fierce competitor, but coming out of college, his first love was teaching. Most people don't know that. His first professional aspiration was to get a job at a high school where he could teach and coach. 

People don’t develop a passion for teaching (which also defines Fangio’s coaching style) without also having a passion for their fellow human beings. Fangio cares about the well-being of his players. He tries to guide them both on and off the grid-iron.

It's unfortunate that what he intended to be a positive and unifying message on Tuesday has now been buried under an affronted mountain of criticism. But in a country that is literally heaving in the throes of social and racial change, Fangio's remarks inadvertently cast him as a villain on social media.

As his remarks reveal, the 61-year-old Fangio was mortified and quickly issued a statement to clarify and even correct his perspective. No man knows what it's like to stand in another's shoes, especially that of a white man comprehending the world through the eyes of a black man. 

Fangio's off-the-cuff remark was made from the perspective of a coach in a locker room where everyone is in the same boat, not necessarily through the dynamics of the NFL's power hierarchy. A lot is changing in America, much of which is justified and a long-time coming, but hopefully one thing that hasn't shifted is this country's spirit of forgiveness especially in the wake of honest and humble contrition.  

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (32)
No. 1-17
BuckinBronco
BuckinBronco

Thats what he said?! I appreciate your analysis Chad. I honestly didn't see what the outrage was with some in the Broncos blogosphere openly calling Fangio racist. What planet are we now living on?

broncomarco
broncomarco

When you offer an opinion on practically anything you must understand that in this age of political correctness only one opinion is correct. That is the only opinion allowed and if you don't state it exactly right, no matter how well intentioned you are, you will be attacked. I would guess Vic Fangio learned his lesson and it will be a long time before he does so again. That, after all, is what political correctness is all about.

Denver_guy
Denver_guy

Dude said he doesn’t see racism in the nfl and then completely disregarded systemic racism as just one routine cop and you don’t get it? Chad maybe you’re Not a part of the solution

Brew77
Brew77

This was just a dumb statement by Fangio and anyone with half a brain knew as soon as you read their would be backlash and here we are. The Rooney rule in itself is racism these owners shouldn’t have to interview a black candidate they should want to interview any candidate that would be best suited to lead their team no matter what color they are. Fangio is not a racist he just said something dumb we have all been there he apologized so let’s just move on people. Hopefully there will be change in this world but I doubt it all we can do is try to educate ourselfs and encourage that in other people.

GLORYfromHEAVEN
GLORYfromHEAVEN

What astonishes me is that he's being bashed on... for absolutely no apparent reason.

Around the media, their first response is that there is racism in the NFL because of the lack of black owners and coaches around the league that proves it. PROVES WHAT EXACTLY? That 70% of players in the NFL are black, but God forbid we can't have a higher percentage in white coaches?

Woody Paige about pissed me off today, saying Fangio is blind and he needs to look at his own organization as an example saying there are only 3 black coaches on the staff and for whatever reason, Woody can't figure out why Broncos couldn't find more black coaches? The Broncos had VANCE JOSEPH as the HC and JOE WOODS as a DC for a few years but will ignore that.

Racism is an extreme rarity, some black celebrities like Lil Wayne even admitted they have never experienced racism. Vic Fangio, been in the league for over 30 years, never experienced it either. Racism is out there, but QUIT making every single damn thing about racism because it's really not all about that...

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

I appreciated Coach Fangio's words. He wants to see a colorblind society. So do I. The biggest problem facing the black community is not racism. It is the dissolution of the family. I saw it first hand when I attended a mostly black inner city church which had only one intact family. The "Great Society" was destructive to the black family and reversed decades of upward mobility. Government welfare checks pushed out black husbands and fathers. Those kids needed their fathers. We stressed to those young boys not to do to their children what their fathers did to them, namely, cause them immense pain through abandonment. Today, that church is a whole different story. Those young kids heeded our message. Today, the church is filled with many intact black families. The grace of God can heal and restore and renew. Another destructive force that has destroyed the black community is abortion. The eugenics philosophy and policies of Margaret Sanger have kept the black minority from growing in size, significance, and influence. It is no accident that abortion clinics are often found in minority neighborhoods. Compared to these two things, racism is a comparitively minor problem. The media wants to keep the divide fostered by stirring the pot and focusing on racism while ignoring the far more salient problems that afflict the black community.

Vertcal Stripes
Vertcal Stripes

Well said Chad

Gandalf the orange
Gandalf the orange

If this is what the nfl season is going to be about, then I’m out. If the players are so concerned about racism, they should quit their jobs and run for office or maybe join the police academy.

Rcsodak
Rcsodak

The only racists are those that see it everyday when they open their eyes.
300 years later and they still blame their current lives on whitey.
Can somebody please do some math....
..what's the ratio of pro athletes, white/non-white?
How much do they make? Give back to their neighborhoods to get kids off the streets?
Sure. They all some organization for this or that. But how many are really devoted to making a difference with their God given abilities?
Instead, they spit on those that died in battle...battles for their own kin, no less, because I guess it's easier to just kneel.

Protectyrqb
Protectyrqb

Non racist people dont see the racism the racist do. You dont have to apologize about that Vic. It sure is nice that you did apologize to the real racist people though. You are a good guy!

Ro_Go
Ro_Go

Hes an Italian, Sicilian American. Not racist

Luke  Patterson
Luke Patterson

Nice work Chad. It's extremely difficult for anyone to navigate in this current climate. The Broncos do a great job allowing their personnel to speak from their hearts rather than be scripted. Fangio has a great reputation of working with players for 30 + years.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

In cities around the US, pallets of bricks have been delivered to riot locations. There is no construction in these areas, so it is logical to conclude that they are being provided for the convenience of rioters to break windows. An order for one pallet of bricks in Texas shows the name of the customer as “public works’. In Washington DC, US Park Police found “baseball bats & metal poles hidden along the street” near the White House on Tuesday evening. In Baltimore, bottles with flammable liquid to start fires were discovered in small hiding places. It is further proof of a well funded and professionally organized operation. These are not mere “protesters”.

BeGoodBroncos
BeGoodBroncos

Drew Brees is sorry to

UncleBuck
UncleBuck

FOOTBALL PLEASE

Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen

Editor

'Ppreciate ya!


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