Buffalo Bills rookie QB Jake Fromm apologizes for ‘elite white people’ text: ‘There’s no excuse for that word choice and sentiment’

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Jake Fromm apologized for using the phrase “elite white people” in a text conversation from more than a year ago that was posted on social media early Thursday.

The former Georgia start posted his apology on his Twitter account, in which he wrote: “I’m truly sorry for my words and actions and humbly ask for forgiveness.”


In saying he never meant to imply he was an elite white male, which he noted during the text conversation, Fromm added: “There's no excuse for that word choice and sentiment. While it was poor, my heart is not.”

Fromm, drafted in the fifth round in April, said he also apologized to his teammates and coaches in a team meeting.


Fromm’s text conversation was captured in two screenshots and posted on an account with the name of (at)ashleymp20 shortly before 1 a.m. The exchange, which took place in March 2019, features four consecutive texts from Fromm, which begin with: “I thought we were talkin about lots of stuff.”

Fromm then proceeds to write: “But no guns are good. They need to let me get suppressors. Just make them very expensive so only elite white people can get them haha.”

The revelation of the text exchange comes at a sensitive time, a little more than a week after George Floyd was killed by police in Minnesota during an arrest. Floyd’s death has resulted in protests across the nation and world.

“Now, more than ever, is the time for support and togetherness and I stand against racism 100%” Fromm wrote in his apology. “I promise to commit myself to being a part of the solution in this country.”

When ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Fromm’s apology, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett quote tweeted it and said “Are you really sorry? Or are you sorry you got caught?“

In response, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, added a quote tweet of his own, writing: “You know the answer to that. Racists are never really sorry. They are sorry that ppl who don't agree with their racist stance have unmasked their truth.“

Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White retweeted Sherman’s reply. White also retweeted Jets safety Jamal Adams, his former teammate at LSU, who referenced Fromm and Saints quarterback Drew Brees, writing: “You and Drew aren’t really sorry. Save the (expletive) apologies. The truth just came out, and you two aren’t the only ones!”

Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who was previously scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, said he did not know about Fromm's text messages until the quarterback apologized to the team.

“I still don’t know all the details, other than what he shared with us in our team meeting,” said Frazier, who played five years in the NFL for the Chicago Bears from 1981-85 and was a starting cornerback on their Super Bowl XX championship team.

As for the reaction among the team, Frazier said “on Zoom, it’s hard sometimes to sense what people’s reactions are. ... But we have a mature enough team that our leaders are going to reach out to him and encourage him. They recognize how sincere he was in his apology. I think we will definitely be able to move on from that.”

Fromm was part of the group of skill-position players who worked out last week in Florida. For the most part, though, he has yet to meet most of his teammates and coaches, given that the Bills are conducting their spring practices in a virtual setting because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re still getting to know Jake as a teammate, but based on what he said to the team today, I believe our guys will give him the benefit of the doubt,” Frazier said. “Jake seemed very sincere in his apology. We have a strong culture on our team, and those guys are going to be able to sift through what’s real and what’s not real. We haven’t been around Jake ... but he’s a teammate.


“Those guys, I think over time, he’ll gain their trust. For all of us, we’ve made some mistakes. He acknowledged it: ‘I made a mistake.’ ... You move on from it. You grow from it. That’s what we’re going to try to do, I’m sure, as a team — grow from it. I know Jake wants to grow from it as well.“

The Bills later issued a statement: “Earlier today, we became aware of comments made in a text message conversation involving Jake Fromm in 2019. He was wrong and he admitted it to us. We don’t condone what he said. Jake was honest and forthcoming to us about the text exchange. He asked for an opportunity to address and apologize to his teammates and coaches today in a team meeting, which he did. We will continue to work with Jake on the responsibilities of being a Buffalo Bill on and off the field.“

Fromm was a three-year starter at Georgia and led the Bulldogs to three consecutive SEC championship appearances, and the College Football Playoff title game in 2018, which ended with an overtime loss to Alabama.

Fromm finished his college career completing 621 of 982 attempts for 8,224 yards, with 78 touchdowns and only 18 interceptions. He was the SEC’s freshman of the year in 2017, and led the nation with 30 touchdown passes in 2018.

From Warner Robins, Georgia, the 21-year-old Fromm established his reputation as a competitor by taking over the starting job at Georgia as a true freshman and after starter Jacob Eason was sidelined by an injury.

The Buffalo (N.Y) News contributed.

2020 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)

Visit The Buffalo News at www.buffalonews.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun