Last night, USA Today published a damning interview with former Giants, Buccaneers, and Bears executive Jerry Angelo. In it, he was quoted as having said that he was aware of the NFL having covered up "hundreds and hundreds" of domestic violence incidents over his 30 years in the league. Today, he says that USA Today took him way out of context, and might be right. It also doesn't really matter if he was.
Here's how the USA Today story from Thursday night opened:
A former NFL executive said teams did not discipline players in "hundreds and hundreds" of domestic violence incidents during his 30 years in the league
USA Today never comes back to the "hundreds and hundreds" line in its story, but quotes Angelo extensively as he speaks about the league looking the other way on domestic abuse. That's a little strange, since even a slightly meatier direct quote on such a strong money quote would surely be worth printing.
Here's Angelo today, speaking to CSN Chicago:
"That 'hundreds and hundreds' was taken totally out of context. 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 and 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."
Hundreds and hundreds of domestic violence being covered up was always a massive number, and this explanation makes some sense. But it also doesn't change the tenor of the story beyond removing the shock and awe. The NFL covered up domestic violence incidents. Hundreds and hundreds of other things were fucked up in the NFL as well. The question Angelo's quotes really pose is, Just what else has the NFL been hiding?