“My intent in the meeting that day was to discuss the importance of communication and being on the same page with the team,” he told the media. “I regretted mentioning 9/11 in my message that day and I immediately apologized to the team. Not only was 9/11 a horrific event in our country’s history, but a day that I lost a good family friend. … It was mentioning 9/11 in the context of the team meeting. The goal of the team meeting was about the importance of communication and being on the same page as a team.”
McDermott added, “I brought everybody together and said this was the goal, this was the intent, and I apologize if anyone whatsoever felt a certain type of way coming out of that meeting. If anyone misinterpreted or didn’t understand my message, I apologize. I didn’t do a good enough job of communicating clearly the intent of my message. That was about the importance of communication and that everyone needs to be on the same page, ironically enough. So that was important to me then and still is now.”
McDermott said he addressed the speech later that day at training camp, after one of the players expressed concern over the 9/11 reference.
“One player didn’t seem—that I didn’t make my point clear enough,” he continued. “So right then and there I said we’re getting together as a team and I’m going to address this with everyone.”
McDermott told reporters he planned on discussing the matter after the press conference.
The coach’s controversial comments surfaced just days after Bills linebacker Von Miller was arrested for an alleged domestic violence incident. Miller was charged with third-degree felony assault against his pregnant partner. He surrendered to police last week and was released on a $5,000 bond.