An NFL coach has profusely apologized for using the tragic events of 9/11 to inspire his team to victory before a game. Here’s the whole story.
A Public Apology
Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott issued a public apology after revelations about his use of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as an analogy for teamwork during a team meeting.
Details emerged about a team meeting in 2011 where McDermott allegedly referenced the 9/11 hijackers, using them as an example of effective teamwork, prompting the apology.
GoLongTD reported quotes from unnamed players and seven sources confirming the controversial nature of McDermott’s “9/11 speech” during the 2011 training camp.
It is claimed that McDermott asked specific players questions like “What tactics do you think they used to come together?”
Referencing Terrorist Attacks
He also allegedly asked the question, “What do you think their biggest obstacle was?” referencing the terrorist attacks to motivate the team.
Players responded critically and disapproved of the “horrible reference” he used during the meeting.
An unnamed player speculated that McDermott might have picked up the analogy from a podcast, humorously suggesting, “Next episode! That’s not the one to lead with.”
Upon the public disclosure of the team meeting details, McDermott issued a statement acknowledging his mistake and expressing regret for using the 9/11 reference.
“I Regretted Mentioning 9/11 in My Message That Day”
McDermott revealed that he immediately apologized to the team on the same day as the meeting, recognizing the inappropriate nature of his analogy.
“I regretted mentioning 9/11 in my message that day, and I immediately apologized to the team that day,” McDermot said.
In his statement, McDermott conveyed an understanding that he failed to convey his intended message properly.
“I brought everybody together and said this was the goal, this was the intent,” he said.
McDermott explained that his goal was to bring the team together, clarifying the intent behind his analogy and emphasizing the need for everyone to be on the same page.
Specifically addressing the player who criticized his 9/11 analogy, McDermott said, “I apologize if anymore whatsoever felt a certain type of way coming out of that meeting.”
“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,” McDermott said.
McDermott stressed the importance of communication in his apology, “That was about the importance of communication.
A United Team for Future Games
“Everyone needs to be on the same page, ironically enough. So that was important to me then and still is now,” he continued.
McDermott committed to speaking with his team again to ensure everyone’s on the same page about the matter.
With the Bills at 6-6 and playoff chances slipping, the Bills crucially need to be united for the games ahead.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Chalermpon Poungpeth. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.