Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott praised Jake Fromm for reaching out to the team but acknowledged the rookie quarterback has plenty of work to do after racist texts he sent in 2019 recently surfaced.
“Jake’s situation is certainly one that we’ve taken very seriously,” McDermott said, per Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN. “Jake did a very good job of communicating to the team on more than one occasion … and that has to continue.”
Louis-Jacques noted Fromm’s texts said guns should be priced so “only elite white people can afford them.” He sent the texts while he was a player for the Georgia Bulldogs.
“Right now it’s, where do we go from here?” McDermott said. “Jake has to continue to earn it. … There’s going to be players who are going to be wanting to see how Jake acts and reacts in certain situations. Not just on the field but off the field … They’re going to have a chance to evaluate Jake not only on the field but off the field, and that will be an important piece.”
Buffalo selected Fromm with a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
That he was still available so late was one of the more notable surprises of the draft seeing as how he was a household name who led the Bulldogs to the College Football Playoff national championship game as a freshman and a Sugar Bowl win in his final season.
According to Louis-Jacques, the fact Fromm has shown attrition to his teammates like he has “was a contributing factor in the Bills’ decision to keep him following the incident.”
Last Thursday, Louis-Jacques reported that Fromm apologized in a written statement.
The report also noted Bills quarterback Josh Allen—who was the subject of controversy when racist tweets he sent as a teenager were widely circulated before the 2018 NFL draft when he was picked—reached out to Fromm and explained showing teammates who he is as a person, like Allen did, will be key moving forward.
“I sent him a text saying I love you and I’m here for you if you need anything,” Allen said. “He owned up to his mistakes and he talked to the team and if anyone had any questions about him, they asked him directly. It was a shame that it happened … He was extremely sorry and regretful and super hurt by it. He didn’t mean to cause anybody any pain—and I think the guys responded well to him … It’s still going to be a hill that he continues to climb with the guys in the locker room.
Fromm’s texts emerged at a time when much of the national conversation is focused on systemic racism and police brutality amid worldwide protests that were sparked by the killing of George Floyd on May 25.