Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Jake Fromm apologized on social media Thursday after a text conversation in which he said only "elite white people" should own guns was made public.
In the exchange from March 2019, Fromm tells the person he is texting with "guns are good," "They need to let me get suppressors," and "Just make them very expensive so only elite white people can get them haha."
The other party responds "Woah do you think you're an elite white perdon [sic]?" Fromm replies "I'm not I'm just sayin."
— AP (@ashleymp20) June 4, 2020
In an apology tweet Thursday afternoon, Fromm said he is "extremely sorry" for his choice of words, adding "there is no excuse for that sentiment."
— JakefromStateFromm (@FrommJake) June 4, 2020
Fromm was the Bills' fifth round draft pick in April's NFL Draft. The Georgia quarterback was expected to serve as a backup behind starting QB Josh Allen.
The Bills issued a statement late Thursday saying, "“Earlier today, we became aware of comments made in a text message conversation involving Jake Fromm in 2019. He was wrong and he admitted it to us. We don’t condone what he said. Jake was honest and forthcoming to us about the text exchange. He asked for an opportunity to address and apologize to his teammates and coaches today in a team meeting, which he did. We will continue to work with Jake on the responsibilities of being a Buffalo Bill on and off the field.”
Disclosure of Fromm's texts comes at a time of racial injustice protests across the country and around the globe in reaction to the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer last week. Video shows the white officer, Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder, kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd tells him he can't breathe. Three other officers at the scene face charges of aiding and abetting murder.
Fromm acknowledged the current climate in his apology, saying "Now, more than ever, is the time for support and togetherness and I stand against racism 100%."
In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Defense Coordinator Leslie Frazier, who is Black, said "Jake was very sincere in his apology and I think for our team, 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."
"He's a teammate and those guys, I think, over time, he will gain their trust. All of us make mistakes and he acknowledged that: I made a mistake. There are a number of us that can say the same thing. At some point or another, especially in our youth, we've made some mistakes. But you move on from it and you grow from it," Frazier added.
One of Fromm's teammates, All Pro cornerback Tre'Davious White, retweeted New York Jets safety Jamal Adams, who had linked to a Bleacher Report story on Fromm with the comment "You and Drew aren't really sorry. Save the bulls**t a** apologies. The truth just came out, and you two aren't the only ones!"
Drew Brees, a Super Bowl winning New Orleans Saints quarterback, has come under heavy criticism for an answer he gave about kneeling during the National Anthem in an interview with Yahoo Finance, where he said he will "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America." Brees apologized Thursday, saying he "completely missed the mark" about what kneeling represents culturally.
Kneeling during the anthem first became an issue in the 2016 NFL season when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling on a weekly basis to protest racial injustice. Other players across the league followed suit. Kaepernick has remained unsigned and has not played professional football since that season ended.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett also tweeted a link to a Fromm story, with the caption "Are you really sorry? Or are you sorry you got caught?"
Fromm says he addressed his teammates and coaches in a team meeting and told them the texts are "not representative of the person I am," adding "I'm truly sorry for my words and actions and humbly ask for forgiveness."