Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault found himself in some hot water earlier this week when he stated and reiterated that his sole focus was on preparing the Flyers for their Game 3 matchup with the New York Islanders, not what had been going on in the US following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
While some called for the team to dismiss Vigneault from his role as head coach based on an irresponsibly clipped portion of his remarks on Twitter, others urged the public to take note of the context and timeline of his remarks.
On Saturday afternoon, Vigneault took to the podium with a handwritten prepared statement and sought to set the record straight:
— Russ Joy (@JoyOnBroad) August 29, 2020
Here’s what Vigneault had to say in its entirety:
In life, I answer to my parents. I answer to my family. I answer to my friends. And I answer to God. Everyone that I’ve just mentioned knows that what I’ve said since our postgame on Wednesday is the truth.
My honesty, my integrity, my social commitment, for some reason, has been pushed to the forefront. After our last game against the New York Islanders, I was asked about the situation in the NBA. We had played a 3 o’clock game. I didn’t know what was going on, so I didn’t comment.
We got back that night at 6:15 at the hotel. I picked up some food, had a martini, and went to my room to work. We were playing in less than 24 hours. I worked late into the night, got up very early the next morning, continued to work. I conducted my 10:30-11:45 coaches meeting. At 11:45 I went to get COVID tested. At 12:00 I was back here for a press conference.
I never bothered to ask or check with anyone what was going on in the world or the NBA. I am guilty of that. I was totally focused on our next game.
Like I said at that 12:00 press conference, I am for equality. I am for social justice. After that press conference, I went to our pregame meal. I left there around 12:35 and as I walked out, I saw players from the four teams that are in the bubble talking. That was my first indication that something was going on.
Shortly, very shortly after that, I received a text from one of my players telling me that they were not playing that evening. I am guilty of not checking up on what was going on in the world and the NBA. But, I am a good person. I believe in equality. I believe in social justice. I want to be part of the solution. I want to help society in any way I can.
To all of the people that have texted me and called me in the last 48 hours to show their support, I want to say thank you and continue to stay safe.
To all of the people in the last 48 hours that have questioned my honesty, questioned my integrity, questioned my social commitment, I want to say you also stay safe.
You know, we all have our part to do moving forward to help society fix its issues. Maybe we can all start by being good to one another. Society is like a big team. Everyone has a role to play. If we work together and do our roles, I am convinced that we can fix society’s issues.
I want to thank everyone for being here. Everyone stay safe. And that concludes today’s press conference. Thank you. Stay safe.
To be clear, this wasn’t a man who caved to cancel culture and offered up a canned response prepared by the PR Department. This was a man who spoke from the heart and had clearly been hurt by those who attacked his character.
He’s right about one thing: we should all be good to one another.
For more Flyers coverage, follow Snow The Goalie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also be sure to tune into The Press Row Show as Anthony SanFilippo and Russ Joy provide pregame and intermission coverage of every Flyers home game from press row of the Wells Fargo Center via the Crossing Broad Facebook page, YouTube Live, and Twitter, and their Twitter accounts Follow @SnowTheGoalie Follow @AntSanPhilly Follow @JoyOnBroad
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