Buffalo Bills quarterback Jake Fromm insists that text messages in which he said "only elite white people" should be able to purchase guns are not indicative of his character, nor do they represent the way he was raised.
"That's not where my heart is," Fromm said Friday, speaking to local media for the first time since screenshots of the conversation emerged in June. "The one thing that I want to do here on this earth is love God and love people, and I fell short of that. I want to make amends and really be better from here on out so that I can earn their trust and really bring something to this football team."
The text conversation between Fromm and a childhood friend occurred in March 2019. On the topic of guns, he wrote, "But no guns are good. They need to let me get suppressors," before adding, "Just make them very expensive so only elite white people can get them haha."
Fromm called the text a product of his "lack of perspective, being naive and being young and immature." He said jokes or comments like that were not an occurrence from him growing up and "were never said" in his household.
"I made a mistake and I'm going to own up to it, but that's not indicative of who I am," Fromm said, "and I promise you that is not where my heart is at."
Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll told reporters at the time that the rookie had a long way to go to earn back the trust of his teammates. For Fromm, that process involved learning about a perspective he admittedly was not informed about.
"I think the biggest thing is just seeing the world through a different lens," Fromm said. "I grew up kind of seeing it just one way, and seeing the world from a slightly different way has helped me kind of see the background of what's troubling people. I can say that I'm starting to see it, I'm learning, and I'm getting better, and I'm willing to help and be there for whatever situation is needed.
"My plan here in this organization is to earn everything here, earn the trust of my teammates, treat people with respect and ultimately perform well on the field. Out of this building, that's educating myself, staying really close to my friends that are on the other side, having those conversations and really helping out however I can.
"Being available, I think, is one of the most important things that I can do and be willing to help in whatever situation that's thrown my way."
Fromm's text was made public in the midst of widespread protests throughout the United States following the death of George Floyd while he was in the custody of Minneapolis police officers. Asked his opinion on the state of social inequality in the country, Fromm said the "last thing I want to do is get political in any way" but added that he believed the "world would be a better place if we can love God first and then love people."
He said his teammates in Buffalo have been "amazing" these past two weeks of training camp and that he is grateful for the way he has been treated.
The Bills drafted Fromm out of Georgia in the fifth round of the 2020 draft as a potential long-term backup for starter Josh Allen. As a freshman, Fromm led the Bulldogs to a College Football Playoff championship game appearance.