During Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott’s hour-long zoom call with the Buffalo media this week, he was asked about his immediate reaction to the video showing Minnesota Police killing George Floyd, which has spurred passionate protests against racial injustice worldwide.
The coach didn’t mince words:
“I was disgusted by it and ashamed.”
McDermott was asked several questions about how the team is handling the protests against police brutality taking place across the country. While several answers were general and opted to keep internal team discussions out of the press, McDermott acknowledged that players were experiencing and had shared a wide range of emotions.
“Running the gamut of emotions,” said McDermott. “Look this hits all of us, but for some it hits very close to home, and for others it hits close. So it is what you’d expect, I’m sure very much like emotions that you’ve been a part of and seen and heard around the country.”
McDermott’s overarching message to his team seemed to be focused on recognizing the humanity of everyone around us, at all times and in all places.
“We’re all human and I share that with our players. We’re professional coaches, professional football players, but at the end of the day we’re human beings. And so, yeah, I was disappointed, disgusted, and ashamed,” said McDermott.
McDermott advocated that people choose to come together rather than divide. Understandably, that is what he believes the Bills need to do in order to stay a cohesive and functional team attempting to win football games. That sort of message has been more difficult to embrace in the larger world over the past week than some can remember in their lifetimes. He cited the offensive skill players getting together in Florida as a model of what unity could look like.
The Bills released the following statements earlier in the week:
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