Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said rookie quarterback Jake Fromm has communicated with the team on "more than one occasion" after texts surfaced earlier this month of Fromm suggesting guns should be priced to a point where "only elite white people can afford them."
Although McDermott commended Fromm for how he has approached his attempts at redemption so far -- which was a contributing factor in the Bills' decision to keep him following the incident -- he also noted there is far more work to be done than virtual apologies.
"Jake's situation is certainly one that we've taken very seriously," McDermott said. "Jake did a very good job of communicating to the team on more than one occasion ... and that has to continue.
"Right now it's, where do we go from here? Jake has to continue to earn it. ... There's going to be players who are going to be wanting to see how Jake acts and reacts in certain situations. Not just on the field but off the field.
"They're going to have a chance to evaluate Jake not only on the field but off the field, and that will be an important piece."
Fromm's texts, which were sent in 2019, came to light during a fragile emotional point in the United States, following George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. Several professional athletes have used their platform to advocate for social and police reform over the past few weeks, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted the league was wrong in how it handled players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.
McDermott said he is yet to have any Bills players tell him of their intention to kneel in protest this season, but he affirmed his support of whatever players choose to do when the time comes.
"We are always going to support our players. We are always going to respect their position on things, and then we're also going to do our part in listening and educating ourselves on things," he said. "To me, that's the right way to go about things and that's what we're all about -- no hidden agendas and trying to do things the right way, and it starts with respect and ends with love.
"I want to reiterate my support of our players, I think that's important right now. We've got a lot of time between now and that first game, so I think the best thing we can do is make sure they know we support them and certainly respect their position on things."
The fourth-year coach was asked whether he could see himself kneeling alongside any player who chooses to do so this season; he did not commit one way or the other but responded by saying, "I'm going to support my players."
McDermott spoke to reporters as the Bills prepare to break for the summer before tentatively starting training camp next month. For the first time since 2000, the Bills will not hold training camp at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, instead holding it at their home facility in Orchard Park. McDermott has previously noted his affinity for holding training camp at St. John Fisher and plans for the team to return there in the future.