San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke at length on Thursday about several topics including Vic Fangio, Drew Brees, how his players interact, and so much more. Below are Kyle’s comments about the former two as well as how he’s been spending his time during the quarantine.
Obviously New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees has been in the news the last couple of days for what he said and Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio had some comments saying he hasn’t seen racism in the NFL, which he apologized for and sort of walked back today. I’m wondering if you could speak on, from a league perspective, what you think the league is doing or how the league is doing in terms of having African-American coaches and people in power and obviously the numbers indicate that that’s sort of an issue, just how you think the league is addressing that?
“I think they’re trying to address it. I think they’re talking about it. I saw what Vic said and I saw him apologize for it. It’s tough, because white people don’t feel it. You’re not going to think that person’s racist, but you know what, how the heck are there only four black coaches out of 32 head coaches? How are there only two GMs. I mean, we’re in a predominantly, the majority of our players are black. So, the fact that there’s that few, that’s not debatable. I don’t know if people are openly thinking they’re doing it, which I think that people resort to that, but that’s what the problem is. That number is not debatable and that is an issue. I think we talk about it a lot and it is something that has to get better. I know they’ve thrown out a bunch of stuff. I only speak for myself, I try to hire people that I’ve worked with that are prepared for it and fortunately, that’s worked out well for me. I’ve got a Muslim coordinator, we’ve got a black coordinator. We have a lesbian on our staff. We have everything and it’s not just to show people that we’re trying to be diverse. It’s just because I’ve been around these people and they are really good at what they do. We can’t win without these people and that’s just how it works out. I don’t know why the numbers aren’t like that, but the numbers are wrong. That’s stuff that, hell yeah, we want to fix, but it’s not an easy answer. It’s continuing to talk, continuing to, the whole thing with society, everything. It’s all very similar on different levels and that’s why those numbers don’t lie. That’s what makes it a fact. That’s what white people have to admit.”
As a parent, can you talk a little bit about how you’re talking to your kids over the last week and a half about what’s going on in the country and just everything that they’ve been seeing?
“Oh yeah, I kind of go both ways with it. We don’t watch a lot of news here and we’re in quarantine, so it’s not like we, we don’t have all these news channels on all day. My kids aren’t on social media, so they’re not freaking out about it because they’re not aware of a ton of it. They have seen it. I talked to them about that I’m going on here with you guys to talk. So, I’ve been talking to them about it about the last hour. One thing that’s tough with my kids is, I think it is so cool watching a human being when they can have a black friend over and a white friend and they don’t know that they had a black friend over and a white friend. They don’t know. It’s not in their consciousness. It hasn’t been taught to them that there’s an issue. They have no clue. I see that so genuinely in all three of my kids, and I saw it right away when they’re two, three, four, but now they’re 12, 10 and seven and that hasn’t changed. I don’t want a situation like this when they are innocent and I love how they see life and people. I don’t want to get on the news and show them all this stuff and them be like, ‘Oh my God, do black people not like me?’ And I’m like, no, that’s not it because my kids are comfortable as can be, and I don’t want to change that for them. I think most of the youth is like that and we’re better than our parents and our parents were better than their grandparents. But, the stuff right now, I’m worried about our kids. Our kids are already better. Look at the millennials or whatever. They’re so much better than even we were. I don’t want to mess up the younger generation right now because they’re good. We just can’t mess them up and that’s every generation before us has messed up the younger ones. We can get better, but our kids are already good. So, I like that they’re not asking me a bunch of questions about this and they’ll know about this. They’ll learn about it. We just talked for an hour on it, but I like where they’re at and I want to keep that, hopefully, for the rest of their lives.”