Former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said NFL teams didn't discipline players in "hundreds and hundreds" of domestic violence incidents during his 30-year career, USA Today reported Thursday.
"I made a mistake," Angelo told the newspaper. "I was human. I was part of it. I'm not proud of it."
Angelo was the Bears' general manager from 2001 to '11. He entered the league as a scout with Dallas in 1980, worked as a scout for the New York Giants from 1982 to '86, and was Tampa Bay's director of player personnel for Tampa Bay from 1987 to 2001.
"We knew it was wrong," Angelo told USA Today. "... For whatever reason, it just kind of got glossed over. I'm no psychiatrist, so I can't really get into what that part of it is. I'm just telling you how I was. I've got to look at myself first. And I was part of that, but I didn't stand alone."
On Wednesday, commissioner Roger Goodell met with the full body of NFL owners for the first time since several missteps by the league involving personal conduct incidents, most notably the Ray Rice domestic violence case. The agenda was filled with discussion of domestic violence and discipline for misbehavior.
"Our business is to win games," Angelo said. "We've got to win games, and the commissioner's job is to make sure the credibility of the National Football League is held in the highest esteem. But to start with that, you have to know who's representing the shield. We got our priorities a little out of order."
The Bears released a statement Thursday in response to Angelo's comments, saying, "We were surprised by Jerry's comments and do not know what he is referring to," according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Bears great Mike Ditka, meanwhile, called the comments "gutless."
"If you didn't do anything while you were running the team, then shut up. Don't live in the past," Ditka told the "Waddle & Silvy" radio show on ESPN 1000.
Ditka, currently an ESPN analyst, coached the Bears from 1982 to '92.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.