(CBS) A day after he claimed that “hundreds and hundreds” of domestic violence incidents were ignored in his 30 years in the league, former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo backtracked from those comments, telling the Chicago Tribune that he was “embellishing a point.”
“I really was blindsided by this,” Angelo said, according to the Tribune.
“I was talking in general over 30 years and way things have evolved and (how) things looked at as venial (sins) back then are mortal now. I wouldn’t have said the number myself. When he (the reporter) brought it up, I didn’t stop him. I said I’ve heard 100s of stories. I was embellishing a point… That’s not what I said. There’s no way I’d ever say anything like that.’’
Angelo also added there was “no inference to the credibility of the (Bears) organization — totally out of context.” The Bears have denied covering up or ignoring any domestic abuse incidents. Angelo was the general manager from 2001 to 2011.
On Thursday, referencing his time with the Bears, Angelo told USA Today that “hundreds and hundreds” of domestic violence incidents were ignored and that he regretted his role in not taking a more proactive approach.
“We knew it was wrong,” Angelo told 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.
“I made a mistake. I was human. I was part of it. I’m not proud of it.”
Former Bears front office executive and talent evaluator Greg Gabriel, who is a contributor to 670 The Score, also refuted that the Bears covered up or ignored any domestic violence troubles.
“In all honesty … I was as astonished as probably most of you are,” Gabriel said. “My office was directly across the hall from Jerry’s for nine-and-a-half years, and I never once heard of one instance where there was domestic abuse or domestic violence in my time there. I was shocked that Jerry even said that.”
USA Today is standing by its story, saying the comments weren’t taken out of context.
“We stand behind our reporting,” USA Today Sports managing editor Mary Byrne said in a statement. “Mr. Angelo’s comments were not taken out of context. During an interview about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday night, Angelo said he personally had failed to take action in ‘hundreds’ of domestic violence incidents. When asked about the figure, Angelo responded, ‘hundreds and hundreds.'”