Chicago Sun-Times

Buddy Ryan insists he didn't call Dave Duerson derogatory word

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Former Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan insisted he did not call the late Dave Duerson a derogatory word for African Americans in their first chat at Halas Hall.

In an interview from November, published on the website Deadspin.com, Duerson outlined to author Rob Trucks his first visit with Ryan after he was drafted by the Bears.

"He knew I'd gone to Notre Dame, and he asked me if I was one of those doctors or lawyers. I said, "Yes, sir,' " Duerson said. "He said, "Well, you won't be here too long, because I don't like smart [derogatory word for African Americans]."

Reached on his cell phone Thursday morning, Ryan said, "That's bull.

"I can't believe he said that about me, because I was a great fan of his. He played great football. He was a great player. He started for us as a rookie. I don't know why he would say that. That sounds terrible."

According to Trucks, Duerson said Ryan constantly reminded him he wasn't the coordinator's draft pick.

"That he did not want me there or something to that effect: "You won't be here too long because I'm trying my best to get you out of here." That kind of thing," Duerson said. "And so it was a very lonely feeling in that regard. It was not motivational at all. The guy simply hated my guts, without question."

Duerson added that Ryan expressed regret over his comment and treatment of him.

"He came as close to apologizing to me as he could a couple years ago when we saw each other at one of these card-signing events in Chicago. Of course, I would always go right up to him and extend my hand and say, "Hello," and I did, and this time he said, "Dave ..." He never called me Dave," Duerson recalled. "He would call me 22, or he would belt out my nickname. My nickname is "Double D," so he would call me "W D" or something like that. The closest he would come to calling me by my name was when he'd say, "W D." And then, two years ago, he said, "Dave." And he said, "This time can I have a hug?" And that was his way of saying, "I'm sorry."

Asked about his reaction to Duerson's death last Thursday, Ryan said, "It was a shock, because I saw him at the reunion, and he looked great."

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12 Comments

I do not believe buddy.

And what would Dave stand to gain by making up some BS about Buddy Ryan?
Buddy Ryan, ractist liar.

we don't believe you buddy.

Well considering Dave was having all kinds of memory issues it depends. Could Buddy have said that? Sure. But considering Ryan was loved among his players, it would seem strange. Two guys to ask would be Singletary and White. Singletary was was the Captain and would have seen this kind of abuse and White new Buddy really well also.

You also have Buddy's kids who are both considered player coaches who are loved by their respective teams. Seems strange that so many player would love Ryan and that he would raise two sons that are players coaches who are highly reguarded by their players as well if this was the kind of guy he was.

It could of happened you never know but I would like to see a bigg sample size.

Ryan started "Double D" as a rookie....because he hated him, wasn't "his pick" and was trying to get rid of him? Uh...I don't buy it.

When in doubt I'm going to believe the guy (gaping a-hole that he is) that successfully coached great defenses for years and raised two 'player-coach' sons who have had great success following him into the family business, and not believe the guy with dementia that fired a shotgun into his own chest.

As a coach Buddy Ryan was an ass with a giant ego, but I don't think he was a racist. Mike Singletary looks at Buddy Ryan as a 2nd father.

I have no idea if Ryan said to Duerson that he didn't any smart "n" words, but that would seem completely out of character for this coach.

Ryan absolutely played favorites. Not everyone liked Ryan, but it wasn't because he was a racist. It was completely within character for Ryan to not show any respect for a player until that player proved himself worthy of that respect. He rarely ever called his players by name--he called them all by number which is why we have the "46" defense and not the Doug Plank defense.That was what Buddy was known for.

Perhaps Duerson was a bit confused by Ryan's attitude towards him when he was a Rookie and added those remarks to emphasize or embellish what Duerson interpreted as hatred coming from Ryan? The man was in football for over 30 years, so I wouldn't label him a racist based on this one claim by Duerson.

It's well known that Buddy hated Duerson. This started, in part, cause Buddy had to cut Lenny Walterscheid, one of his favorites, to make room for Duerson.

That said, it's hard to believe Buddy would use the 'N' word to and around NFL players.

No NFL coach inspired more loyalty from his players than did Buddy Ryan. That would be pretty hard to do using a term like that around them.

GeoMak,

You bring up a very good point. That's one of the things I heard yesterday, in regards to Walterscheid. He was one of Ryan's favorites, because of how hard he played, and Ryan challenged Duerson to be more physical.

Duerson has talked in the past about all of this before. About how much Buddy Ryan disliked him and comments about Buddy Ryan referring to him as a 'Golden Domer' and asking him if he was going to be a doctor or lawyer and so on and so forth.

Duerson's wife even angrily confronted and got in Ryan's face about his treatment of Duerson at a team function years ago.

Duerson has addressed all of this before.

This is the FIRST time any comment was publicly made by Duerson or anybody else about Ryan using the 'N' word to him.

Just wondering why that would be, at this point in time?

If Buddy said it, why hasn't this come out long ago, when Duerson was addressing his relationship with Buddy Ryan before?

who cares

Most racists are closet racists, but we should never make judgments about what one person has said and or done to another to make them feel inadequate. People whom are being treated in a manner know if it is racist act, especially if it is against him or her. I wonder if any of these people who are claiming that Buddy never made them feel that way, maybe they didn't make Buddy feel threatened in some way!!! Take it from someone whom knows and has been a victim. We don't know the truth, and no one has the right to say if a situation was not real to them. Buddy calling Dave the term was real to him, and I am not surprised that others don't know about. That is a painful thing to experience and Dave was a strong Spirit, so for many reasons, it makes sense why he never mentioned it to others!!!

Yeah, that makes sense. Not really.

Buddy spent his entire life coaching black players, and yet no one (black or white) has EVER said anything publicly accusing Ryan of being a racist, closet or otherwise, until this.

Dan Hampton:

“I’m outraged,” Hampton said. “Buddy Ryan is no racist. In a despicable manner of getting his revenge, 25 years after the fact, he comes up with this lie to try and hurt Buddy.

“Buddy didn’t care if you were purple, or green, a first-round pick or the last pick, it was about character and how you played on the field.”

Hampton said Ryan confronted Duerson during training camp, when the rookie safety wasn’t ­physical enough during the “Nutcracker” drill.

“[Duerson] dove on the ground,” Hampton said. “Everybody on the team saw him act like a coward in training camp, and Buddy didn’t want any cowards on his defense.

“To his credit, Duerson started hitting, and he started playing ­better.”

Sorry msw. Your comment makes no sense.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on February 24, 2011 10:50 AM.

Deadspin publishes Dave Duerson interview from three months ago was the previous entry in this blog.

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