The overlooking and dismissing of Black coaches is deep-rooted behavior in the NFL.
It is a nasty, pervasive train of thought that holds as one of the most integral fibers of the National Football League’s existence. The inherent bias that black men are not capable — and / or not intelligent enough — to excel in positions of leadership.
There narrative began with players in general, when the NFL debuted literally 100 years ago and black men weren’t allowed to participate. This cancer continued to spread when black players were finally permitted, but were blatantly and specifically kept away from the opportunity to compete for certain positions. Spots such as quarterback and center were as color-free as water fountains in the deep South, as teams and talent evaluators maintained the rotten notion that Black men were not capable or intelligent enough to take reign of those on-field leadership positions.
The likes of Warren Moon and Dwight Stephenson quickly dispelled that myth when given the chance. Pat Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, DeShawn Watson and Cam Newton continue to show how stupid and flimsy that narrative was.
But today, that stupid, flimsy narrative continues to hold up among the coaching, executive and ownership levels of the NFL.
In short, regarding coaches:
Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, Mike Tomlin, Marvin Lewis and Lovie Smith — to name a few — have excelled as head coaches . . . especially in comparison to the many retreads we see among their white contemporaries.
In episode 139 of The Defy Life Podcast, Al and J.R. discussed the lack of diversity in the NFL. Check out the full conversation here and join the conversation in the comments!