Before a Zoom conference call with three assistant coaches, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel opened the call with a statement that addressed his personal feelings and the organization’s beliefs regarding the racial issues in the United States in the wake of last week’s murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Vrabel said he he had a “social blind spot” and acknowledged his own “personal privilege” and added that he has taken the opportunity to listen to players with an open mind about their beliefs and feelings.
Coach Mike Vrabel: "Leaders are prepared. Leaders take decisive action and inspire a group of people towards a common goal. That common goal is inclusion, diversity, equality, opportunity." pic.twitter.com/PxFBWtt7c3
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) June 2, 2020
Listed below is the full text of Vrabel’s comments:
“Would just like to, as always, wish you guys well and hope everybody is safe. I hope everybody is working through a very difficult time in our society. With that, I would just like to share a few things. After the past couple days of personal reflection and some really great conversations with our owner Ms. Amy (Adams Strunk), and our general manager Jon Robinson, and most especially our football team, there’s just some things I would like to say. First, acknowledge my own personal privilege, one that’s real. I’d like to acknowledge a social blind spot, that either I was unaware of or chose not to see. I’ve had the unbelievable opportunity to listen to our players the last two days in our team meetings, listen to them with an open mind, and hear, and learn what they believe in and how they feel. Amy, Jon and myself have tried to put great people, and great fathers, and great husbands and great student-athletes on our football team. The majority of those men are African American, with a much different experience and background than I’ll ever know. And by listening and understanding to those thoughts and feelings and how they feel, has helped me recognize, I think, what’s important. And what’s important is that we find ways to respect each other’s feelings, that we respect each other’s beliefs, that we respect each other’s efforts to make positive change in our communities where we work, communities where we live, and communities where we grew up. Being an only child of a basketball coach, playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs afforded me a great luxury of seeing how successful locker rooms are built and managed. They’re built and managed on fair competition, love, loyalty, accountability, teamwork. What they’re not built on is race, creed, color or money. I would say that in closing, leaders, our prepared leaders, take decisive action and inspire a group of people towards a common goal. That common goal is inclusion, diversity, equality, opportunity. On behalf of the Tennessee Titans, our owner, our general manager, the head football coach, our staff, we want to support and will continue to help lead our players as we work towards that common goal. Guys, I can’t thank you enough for the way you cover us. I appreciate it.”