DENVER — Vic Fangio is a pensive sort. He’s a thinker, and thinks deeply. He had been thinking about the racial-laced protests and riots that have spread through nearly dozens of cities of towns in our country since the death of George Floyd at the suffocating knee of policeman Derek Chauvin.
His thoughts galvanized into no-nonsense, severe words as he opened his Zoom press conference Tuesday with the Denver media.
“I just wanted to share with you some thoughts I’ve from the past few days,’’ Fangio said before reading from his statement he had carefully prepared.
“I was shocked, sad and angry when I saw the policeman do to a handcuffed George Floyd on his stomach that led to his death,’’ Fangio said. “He should be punished to the fullest extent of the law from the crimes he has been charged with -- in addition to being charged with treason for failing to uphold the badge and uniform he was entrusted with.
“I have the utmost respect and admiration for the police and the job they do under trying circumstances. They allow us to have a great country on a daily basis. The Minnesota cop failed the 99 percent of police that do a great job. And we are all paying a price for that.
“I’ve listened to many people talk the past few days and the one that resonated with me the most was Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He also recognized that 98 to 99 percent of the police do a tremendous job in tough situations and we must do all we can to correct the small percentage that don't do a great job on a daily basis. Kareem was one person talking sensibly and with solutions.
"This is not a political issue. We have had similar situations in St. Louis in 2014, Baltimore in 2015 and others recently and prior to those. It's a societal issue that we all have to join in to correct. Good deeds and doing the right things by all in society will far outweigh people pontificating with their words or any amount of money can solve.
"Sports brings people together and I look forward to the Broncos and the NFL leading that charge.''
Fangio wrote out his statement long hand on a yellow notepad Monday night. He applauded his starting safety Justin Simmons for his words at a protest rally in Florida over the weekend. Simmons is not participating in the team's virtual meetings as he has not signed his franchise-tag tender.
"Justin is a great person, great leader and he's got his head screwed on correctly,'' Fangio said. "And he sees the problems and how they need to be solved. He's doing it peacefully and he's searching for solutions.
"It's easy for everybody to identify the problems. We all know the problem. But we need to search for solutions and I think Justin is one of those guys who will helps us find solutions and lead us out of this mess that we're in."
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