Buffalo Bills owner Kim Pegula has become the public mouthpiece for the organization. As the team’s president and co-owner, her voice carries further than general manager Brandon Beane or head coach Sean McDermott, especially when it comes to off-the-field initiatives. That’s why her guest column filling in for Peter King at Football Morning in America for NBC Sports was so in-depth and revealing.
I won’t lie to you; it’s verbose at more than 6000 words. Normally I’d encourage you to break it up into chunks but so much of it is inter-related, one sitting might actually be better.
In the column, Pegula discusses the team and her family’s personal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’ve tried to normalize behaviors in a more isolated environment, going so far as to carefully choose their wardrobe for meeting the rookies because they weren’t going to get the low-key happenstances meetings in the hallway at One Bills Drive. They discuss the financial implications of the shutdown, how she’s been able to “get away,” what she finds most important, but also the practical changes coming to training camp and beyond.
Along with the COVID-related conversations, Pegula dives into race relations involving the team with honesty, pulling back the curtain. She mentions her own diverse background as a woman of Asian descent, but also how that didn’t mean they would go out of their way to hire and promote minority candidates. She mentioned the steps she and the organization are taking to rectify those shortcomings, as well, along with how the team handled the racist tweets from rookie QB Jake Fromm.
I know some folks are going to be cynical while reading it, especially the section abut how employees are family after the bloodletting over at the Buffalo Sabres, but hearing her go on record with these thoughts is a step in the right direction.
Read the entire column over at NBC Sports then come back and leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Tim Graham of The Athletic shared his thoughts on the Pegula column:
While admirable sentiments exist in Kim Pegula’s FMIA guest column today, the effort also is an attempt to rewrite history.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) July 6, 2020
“Not knowing what next season may look like, we decided to suspend bonuses, raises, overtime and put in a hiring freeze.”