(CBS) Former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has opened up about the NFL’s attitude and his team’s actions regarding domestic violence while he was in Chicago, telling USA Today that teams hid “hundreds and hundreds” of abuse incidents in their single-minded focus to win football games.
“I made a mistake,” Jerry Angelo told USA Today, regretting his role in failing to take action. “I was human. I was part of it. I’m not proud of it.”
Angelo was the Bears’ general manager from 2001 to 2011, and he admitted the Ray Rice scandal has made him re-evaluate and regret not taking a stand.
“We knew it was wrong,” Angelo said, according to USA Today.
“For whatever reason, it just kind of got glossed over. I’m no psychiatrist, so I can’t really get into what that part of it is. I’m just telling you how I was. I’ve got to look at myself first. And I was part of that, but I didn’t stand alone.”
Of the attitude toward domestic violence, Angelo told USA Today that the protocol was similar to, “OK, is everybody OK? Yeah. How are they doing? Good. And then we’d just move on. We’d move on.”
Angelo traced the culture to the all-encompassing need to win.
“Our business is to win games,” Angelo said, according to USA Today. “We’ve got to win games, and the commissioner’s job is to make sure the credibility of the National Football League is held in the highest esteem. But to start with that, you have to know who’s representing the shield.
“We got our priorities a little out of order.”
The Bears issued a statement Thursday.
“We were surprised by Jerry’s comments and do not know what he is referring to,” the team’s prepared statement said.