BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Bills rookie Jake Fromm apologized after a series of racially insensitive text messages were leaked to Twitter on Thursday.
In the texts, dating back to March 2019, Fromm states “guns are good” and “just make them very expensive so only elite white people can get them haha.”
In his statement, Fromm says, “Although I never meant to imply I am an ‘elite white person,’ there’s no excuse for that word choice and sentiment. While it was poor, my heart is not.”
Fromm goes on to say, “Now, more than ever, is the time for support and togetherness and I stand against racism 100%. I promise to commit myself to being a part of the solution in this country. I addressed my teammates and coaches in a team meeting today and I hope they see this incident is not representative of the person I am. Again, I’m truly sorry for my words and actions and humbly ask for forgiveness.”
The Bills issued this statement:
“Jake did a very good job of communicating to the team on more than one occasion,” head coach Sean McDermott said. “There’s gonna be players that are gonna be wanting to see how Jake acts and reacts in certain situations not just on the field but off the field. They’re gonna have a chance to evaluate Jake.”
On a Zoom call with reporters, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said he thinks players will give Fromm the benefit of the doubt and hope Fromm learns from this.
“He seemed very sincere in his apology and I think we have a strong culture on our team. Those guys are going to be able to sift through what’s real and what’s not real,” Frazier said.
“We’re still getting to know Jake as a teammate but based on what he said to the team today I believe our guys will give him the benefit of the doubt and they’re looking forward to communicating him and encouraging him,” Frazier explained.
Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll says Fromm has a long way to go before he’s regained the trust of his fellow Bills and coaching staff, but he’s committed to doing that.
“He knows that he has a lot of work to do to earn the trust of his teammates back,” Brian Daboll said. “I’m a big believer that actions speak louder than words, and he’ll be committed to that. We have a strong leadership group, a strong culture in our room, but Jake is a young man who apologized.”
“Where we go moving forward, he’s got a lot to do to earn the trust and confidence of the players and everyone in the building back. I know he’ll work hard to do that.”
Daboll added that the strong culture of everyone at One Bills Drive will help to bridge the gap and continue to bring everyone together during these trying times.
“I think two things, first of all, Sean and Brandon have done a good job of cultivating what we have here. It’s about bringing the right people in, people that are hardworking, that are smart, that treat people like they want to be treated,” Daboll said. “These are tough times, challenging times, and you want to associate yourself with people that are good people, that are willing to do the right thing, and we have a bunch of those guys. Not only in our locker room, but on the coaching staff and in the building as well.”
“That’s what our focus is, to bond with one another, to help each other out, to show empathy, to do what we can do, our part, to help make things better. We have a strong room, a strong organization, by no means is it perfect, but that’s always our goal.”
Bills quarterback Josh Allen echoed his coaches comments about the team’s response to Fromm’s apology.
“He owned up to his mistakes and he talked to the team. If anybody had any questions about him they went and asked him, they asked him directly. It’s a shame that that happened on both parts, the one first that he said it and two that it got out there and I think he was extremely sorry and regretful and super hurt by it and he didn’t mean to cause anybody any pain,” Allen said.
Fromm was selected by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.