THREE NFL COACHES WHO ARE FORMER PLAYERS COMMENT ON THE WEEK’S EVENTS
(left to right) Colts Head Coach; Frank Reich, Titans Head Coach; Mike Vrabel, Chargers Head Coach; Anthony Lynn
NFL alumni who advance to become successful head coaches in our league usually are thoughtful leaders of young men.
During this past week when there has been so much social unrest around the country, three of our former players, who now are NFL head coaches, addressed some of the issues that have been discussed endlessly on cable news shows and during the protest marches.
Colts coach Frank Reich had a long 14-year career at quarterback for several NFL clubs:
“It’s not enough for a person who looks like me (Caucasian) to say ‘I’m not a racist’. This kind of talk and thinking lends itself to a posture of neutrality, indifference, and passivity. It’s easy to be silent, do nothing, when it doesn’t directly impact you. Racism is vile, deplorable, detestable. There’s no form of it that is acceptable and, in no way, can it be justified”
Titans Coach Mike Vrabel is a 44-year old former linebacker who is in his third year at the helm in Tennessee:
“Being an only child of a basketball coach, playing for Ohio State, the Steelers, Patriots, and the Chiefs afforded me the great luxury of seeing how successful locker rooms are built and managed. They’re built and managed on fair competition, love, loyalty, accountability, and teamwork. What they’re not built on is race, creed, color, or money. Leaders take decisive action and inspire a group of people toward a common goal which is inclusion, diversity, equality, and opportunity. We will help continue to lead our players as we work toward that common goal.”
Chargers Coach Anthony Lynn, who has been part of nine NFL team locker rooms either as a player or coach, currently is one of four minority head coaches in the league. He was quoted in a long story this week in the Los Angeles Times:
“I think statements are needed to bring attention to the situation and I’ve read some good statements. But I want to do something, too. I don’t want to put out a statement simply because it is the right thing to do. I want change. In 1992, I remember watching L.A. burn and here we are in 2020 and I’m watching it again. It just hit me. Nothing has changed. I haven’t done anything to make this a better place for my son.”
Three different coaches with three different perspectives on the events of the week. We at NFL Alumni wish them continued success with their tremendous responsibility of leading teams of young players in the locker room and on the field during the upcoming season.