Titans, Mike Vrabel address blind spots, look for what to do next

NASHVILLE. Tenn. – As statements from teams and commentary from athletes flew around in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the unrest that’s followed, the Titans were quiet.

Then they put out something small and understated on Tuesday.

TitansRacismStatement

I don't know what they needed to say, but I can't imagine being a black player on the team and feeling like that was sufficient.

Then before scheduled Zoom calls for three assistant coaches with media, Mike Vrabel jumped on to deliver a message without taking any questions.

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I think the Titans had hoped to pair their words with some sort of action but then realized that putting something substantive together would take time and that they didn’t want to be silent in the meantime.

It’s hard to be certain what the right thing for a team to do is, but for a team with a white owner, GM and coach it certainly starts with listening to a roster composed primarily of black players. That seems to me to be the most important thing Vrabel said and did and will do.

That too is what I want to do as someone who covers a locker room composed of primarily black players.

We’ve talked on The Midday 180 about having much more of a conversation about the issues that Floyd’s completely unnecessary death have brought to the forefront again.

It’s not going to fade into the background this time if we don’t let it, and the collective furor seems unlikely to allow it. Staying angry, upset, unhappy, disappointed, determined to see change seems a good course so long as all those feelings don’t connect us with vandalism and looting it’s hard to see connected to the cause.

apple icon 114x114 precomposed“Obviously it’s a tough time in our country with what’s going on right now,” said Anthony Midget, the Titans new cornerback coach, who is African-American. “We had a very, very good meeting (with players), just being a sounding board, just letting them talk about how they felt. Same thing with me, I expressed to them. I thought it was a very productive meeting.

“The guys want to help, want to do everything they can to make this country a better place they are collaborating with each other to think about what they want to do next. Right now, what exactly that is nobody really knows. But those guys are really wanting to help and pitch in. The big thing is to just educate, educate people on the right way to do things.

“The players really want to do that. …it was really good and therapeutic for our guys to sit in there and talk yesterday.”

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