Buffalo Bills Coach Apologizes for Bizarre 2019 Team Speech Referencing 9/11 Terror Attacks | lovebscott.com

Buffalo Bills Coach Apologizes for Bizarre 2019 Team Speech Referencing 9/11 Terror Attacks

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott is catching heat over what some have called his “9/11 speech.”

via: People

McDermott held an unscheduled news conference on Thursday to apologize for a bizarre 2019 speech he made at a team practice in which he referenced the terrorists behind 9/11 as an example of strong team unity.

“My intent in the meeting that day was to discuss the importance of communication and being on the same page with the team,” McDermott, 49, told reporters. “I regretted mentioning 9/11 in my message that day and I immediately apologized to the team.”

The apology came after GoLongTD.com reported on the 2019 speech and other outlets, such as ESPN, confirmed the 2019 speech took place with players who were on the team at the time.

McDermott told reporters Thursday that his intent behind the speech “was the importance of communication and being on the same page as a team.”

But within an hour after making the speech, McDermott said he began to realize players didn’t understand why he referenced the 9/11 hijackers and held them up as an example of unity, leading him to bring the team back together to apologize.

“I brought everybody together and said this was the goal, this was the intent, and I apologize if anyone whatsoever felt a certain type of way coming out of that meeting,” McDermott recalled Thursday. “If anyone misinterpreted or didn’t understand my message, I apologize. I didn’t do a good enough job of communicating clearly the intent of my message. That was about the importance of communication and that everyone needs to be on the same page, ironically enough. So that was important to me then and still is now.”

McDermott emphasized to reporters Thursday that he understands 9/11 was “a horrific event in our country’s history” and mentioned that he “lost a good family friend” in the terrorist attacks.

The Bills, who have made the playoffs five out of the six seasons McDermott has been their head coach, announced in June that the franchise had extended his coaching contract through 2027, calling him one of “their most important leaders within the organization.”

“Sean is a proud, Christian, determined man,” Bills owner Terry Pegula said at the time. “I remember before his interview for the Bills head coaching job thinking about him being a two-time National Prep Wrestling Champ. I thought to myself, you wrestled, you’re determined, you love what you’re doing, and you won. He comes to the Bills every day and will never ask anyone, player or coach, to do anything he wouldn’t do.”

Following his brief news conference on Thursday to explain the 9/11 speech, McDermott said that he also planned to speak with the team again about the incident.

“As I mentioned to the team [in 2019] that I regretted and apologized for me not doing a good job of clearly communicating my point,” the coach said. “I’m going to do the same with the team today when they’re done meeting, so that if there’s anyone new that they understand how important that is to me and my family because it’s an important event, a horrific event, in our history.”

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