BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier says something about George Floyd’s death feels different in the sense of opening people’s eyes to the real racial issues in this country.
“Just seeing the reaction throughout our country. I got an email today from a former GM in our league who really poured his heart out about his negativity about recognizing some of what the issues were. And the video tape of George Floyd’s death really brought it home to him. And he was very apologetic for the fact that he has not been as involved as he should have been in the past,” Leslie Frazier said on a zoom call with reporters on Thursday.
He went on to describe that email from the former GM.
“He said “I want to apologize to all my friends and make you aware that I’m going to do better, I’m going to do better, I’m going to be more involved and I’m going to use the voice that I have and the influence that I have much more so than I ever have before and make a difference’.” When you hear comments like that you get the feeling that maybe this is the time in our country that we’re gonna take some necessary steps to make things better as a whole ,” Frazier explained.
Head coach Sean McDermott said he hopes the Bills can be a “unifying picture” for America and Frazier echoed the need for unity among the team.
“It’s so important that we all educate ourselves on the things that are going on in our world and our culture today. And then the other part of it is the commutation, making sure that we are communicating across racial lines. We think that’s extremely important. That’s something we wanted to make sure we hammer home. We don’t want to be a team that becomes fractured over what’s going on in the world today and it could easily happen where your locker room is split because of comments or what’s happening around the world,” Frazier explained.
Frazier also stressed the need for players and coaches to use their platform to speak out about racial injustices but also take action and get involved to make a difference.
“One of the ways that we can make things better, it’s something we talked about earlier today within our communities and our guys are all spread out, they’re in all different places right now. We can volunteer, we can donate funds, so there’s a lot of things that we can do to make a difference,” Frazier said.
“I’ll go back to the platform that we have and one of the things I pointed our to our guys, if a Jordan Poyer or Tre’Davious White came to my middle school or my elementary school and just showed up and just said hello or came to my playground, that would have taken me to a whole other level because those are my heroes so for our guys to get involved in our communities and the same thing here in Buffalo. We talked to them about when they come back making sure they get intertwined in the community,” Frazier said.
Another way Frazier connects with the team on this subject is being an African American, sharing his personal experiences to relate to the players.