Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott has found himself in proverbial hot water after a four-year-old scandal was dragged out of the coach’s past. Rather than focusing on an imminent (likely one-sided) faceoff with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs that could end a disappointing 6-6 Season for the Bills, the anecdotal comment came up again on Thursday in a long-form article from Go Long.
According to The Western Journal, the initial scandal broke per ESPN when during a 2019 training camp meeting, McDermott offhandedly praised the terrorists who enacted the devastating 9/11 Terrorist attacks on the United States that killed 2,996 people… for their teamwork.
Reportedly McDermott “[asked] players in the room questions about how the attacks were executed and [referenced] the hijackers getting on the same page.”
Some players confirmed the comment while others told the outlet they couldn’t recall it.
ESPN reported that McDermott explained the situation saying he had made the reference in the meeting for “awareness around a horrific event more than anything and a situation that I lost, as I mentioned, a family friend, really multiple family friends. That was it.”
Inside of an hour of the initial comment, he told reporters that he spoke to the team about the comment again.
“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 said.
“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.”
On Thursday according to Western Journal, he addressed the incident again to reporters, “My intent in the meeting that day was to discuss the importance of communication and being on the same page with the team.”
“I regretted mentioning 9/11 in my message that day and I immediately apologized to the team. Not only was 9/11 a horrific event in our country’s history, but a day that I lost a good family friend.”
McDermott informed the press that he would address the comments with his team again. “It is important to me that … we’re all on the same page and they — even guys that weren’t here — understand how I feel about the 9/11 event,” he told them. “I regretted and apologized for … not doing a good job of clearly communicating my point. And I’m going to do the same with the team today.”