Former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said Friday that he was taken out of context in a USA Today story that quoted him as saying the NFL did not discipline players in “hundreds and hundreds” of domestic violence cases during his time in the league. The longtime NFL executive added that the newspaper’s use of the quote was “very disappointing.”
“That ‘hundreds and hundreds’ was taken totally out of context,” Angelo said during an appearance on “The Kap and Haugh Show,” according to CSN Chicago. “When I was making a point to this person, I was making a point that over my 31 years in the National Football League I’ve seen a lot of changes. There were hundreds of hundreds of things over those years that I’ve seen that have gotten better. Domestic violence is one of those.”
“There were no hundreds and hundreds [of cases] of domestic violence. I would have no knowledge of that or have any idea how I would authenticate that … That was never the intent of [the writer’s] conversation with me,” he added.
Angelo also spoke out in defense of Roger Goodell, stating that he has “great respect” for the embattled NFL commissioner and that Goodell would be “better” at addressing domestic violence cases in the future.
“[The Bears front office] made mistakes but we never justified mistakes,” Angelo said. “We did what we had to do and we moved on … [The quotes in USA Today’s story were] totally out of context. I feel bad that this has just gone to another level which I had no idea how it got there.”
USA Today’s story claimed that Angelo, who was a member of the Bears’ front office from 2001 to 2011, failed to take action against players who engaged in domestic violence during his team with the team. “I made a mistake,” Angelo said, according to the newspaper. I was human. I was part of it. I’m not proud of it.”
The account drew an immediate rebuttal from the Bears organization. “We were surprised by Jerry’s comments and do not know what he is referring to,” the Bears said in a statement.
“Jerry Angelo comments ……. I played for the Bears and don’t remember one single incident of domestic violence,” former Bears defensive end Phillip Daniels wrote on Twitter. “Players would know! Wow!”