By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)
Los Angeles Chargers head coach, Brandon Staley has just shown us all why speaking out against homophobic, mysognist and racist language is harmful and unacceptable within our society today. Staley is one of NFL’s most ambitious and rising young coaches who doesn’t shy away from the hard questions often asked by reporters.
After leaked emails that exposed Las Vega Raider’s head coach, Jon Gruden for using such harmful and offensive language, Staley was asked by reporters regarding his own thoughts on the whole drama as it was unfolding. Here is Staley’s full quote,
“I think what you’ll discover is that we have so much more in common than not” pic.twitter.com/nKfKazUQ4v
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) October 13, 2021
“Perspective and trust in this world are really, really difficult to achieve. I think about all the people that were affected by those emails — whether you’re a person of color, whether you’re a person, you know, a gender, your sexual orientation. That’s who I’m thinking about because it’s a sacred mantle for someone to call you coach or someone to call you a leader.
“Trust is really, really hard to achieve in this world. It’s really, really challenging to achieve, especially with people with those groups that I just mentioned. People are really guarded and skeptical of people because of emails like that.
“Kindness and lifting people up and respecting people you don’t know, I just think that that’s such a big part of our thing here … listening to people and learning about people because I think what you’ll discover is that we have so much more in common than not.
“For someone like me, it’s just incumbent upon you to set the example every single day so that people that were talked about in those emails that they don’t need to feel that way, they shouldn’t feel that way.
“Hopefully, all of us can learn from this, that it’s about bringing people together for me, so that people can become the people that they dream about. For me, leading this football team and being someone, hopefully, we can be a light for those people in those emails that not everybody’s like that, that there’s far more people that will love you than the opposite.
“Hopefully, this will be a chance for everybody to come together instead of go apart.”
Staley has been praised for his thoughtful and meaningful response in educating his colleagues and setting an example for his team. While others have come to Gruden’s defense, Staley is focused on moving forward and ensuring that those within his circle of leadership know just where he stands toward building a more inclusive and accepting game for all.