NFL Affirmative Action backfires as ESPN analyst discourages black coaches

For decades, both the National Football League and the sports media have been encouraging — indeed beg – Franchises to hire black trainers.

In fact, over the past 20 years, the league has gone as far as that force Teams to interview minority candidates. The so-called Rooney rule dictates that when a team undertakes a head coaching recruitment process, at least one minority candidate must be interviewed. Whether the ghost of Vince Lombardi is in the running for the job, interview a BIPOC candidate and take them seriously, right different.

I don’t know if I should take it as a positive sign when a prominent black sports pundit begs black coaches Not take a job as a head coach – at least for a team.

After FoxNewsESPN’s Stephen A. Smith says black candidates don’t have to apply to lead the Houston Texans after the franchise fired head coach Lovie Smith on Monday.

The franchise’s last three head coaches have all been black — although one of them, Romeo Crennel, was caretaker coach after white Bill O’Brien was fired in 2020.


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Still, that was enough for Smith to imply that the team is unfair to black coaches.

“African Americans don’t have to apply,” he said on Monday’s ESPN’s First Take.

“In my opinion, this is not an organization that has been fair to African Americans. And I have these two as an example. You could use Romeo Crennel and the kind of situation they put him in in the past. I don’t like this organization.”

Has the NFL’s Affirmative Action Policy Backfired?

After Crennel wrapped up the 2020 season, the franchise hired David Culley, an assistant head coach with the Baltimore Ravens.

A long time position trainer At a number of teams, Culley never held a head coaching job or was an offensive or defensive coordinator prior to his hire.

While experience in one of these positions is not a set rule, it is generally considered a requirement for hiring a head coach in the NFL.

After a 4-13 season, Culley was fired.

“While a one-season move is unusual, we’ve had philosophical disagreements about the long-term direction and vision for our program,” said Texans general manager Nick Caserio in a January 2022 team statement.

Lovie Smith, Culley’s replacement, was the team’s defensive coordinator during the 2021 season – not a particularly good omen for future success. Lo and behold, he did even worse goes 3-13-1.


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While Smith enjoyed some success prior to his brief tenure at Houston — leading the Chicago Bears to Super Bowl XLI in the 2006 season — he set just three winning records in nine seasons following his Super Bowl appearance, in which he played for the Bears, Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coached .

“We are grateful for [Smith’s] Leadership and character, and we wish him well in the future,” Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair said in a statement following Smith’s firing Monday ESPN.

“While we understand that the results have not been what we hoped for, we are committed to building a program that will deliver long-term, sustainable success. Our fans and our city deserve a team to be proud of.”

But better with a white coach – at least as far as Stephen A. Smith is concerned!

Granted, the Texans currently occupy the NFL’s perennial loser role, a black hole of hopelessness where promising careers are dying. Though they only recently took on the role after franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson pushed himself out of town over a trade request and a spate of sexual misconduct allegations, the franchise seems to have embraced the eternal awfulness with aplomb.

Longtime football fans will remember how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals occupied this niche in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively. However, it’s also worth noting that both franchises began fighting their way out of the sewers by hiring competent black head coaches – Tony Dungy for the Buccaneers and Marvin Lewis for the Bengals. Yes, this was a time when a black coach on the fringes of the NFL was a rare sight, but the point remains.

And yet Dungy echoed similar sentiments to Stephen A. Smith after Lovie Smith was shown the door — though he didn’t accuse the franchise of racism.

“What are the Texans doing? What is this operation where you have no belief to support the trainers you hire,” he tweeted. “Who wants to train there when you only have a year to implement your plans. Two years in a row is ridiculous.”

However, he went on to say his complaint was not based on race.

Yes, but comparing Noll, Walsh and Landry — all Hall of Fame coaches, for those unfamiliar, with nine Super Bowl wins between them — to the three Texas coaches fired is problematic.

All three of these men had at least some success as coordinators and assistant coaches before taking over their franchises. More importantly, they had no history of failure either – and there was not the specter of potential positive action hiring hanging over them.

Both Crennel and Smith had previously been head coaches; In six full seasons, Crennel had just one winning record, and Smith’s failures have been previously documented. Both already had established records of failures. As for Culley, he had the opposite problem: he didn’t have enough experience to salvage a struggling franchise.

So who’s coaching the Texans next? Well, according to Fox News, at least several candidates are ignoring Stephen A. Smith’s advice.

“The Texans have already begun searching for a head coach and are reportedly seeking interviews with Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator, Ben Johnson, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evero, Eagles offensive coordinator, Shane Steichen, and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. ‘ the outlet reported.

“Ryans and Evero are both black coaches, and the former was a Texas legend during his playing days as a linebacker. Ryans spent six seasons in Houston, reached two Pro Bowls and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006.”

Perhaps most importantly, none of these men have fallen on their respective faces in the past. With the exception of the Broncos, all coordinators mentioned coaches for teams that had spectacular performances in 2022. Ryans, in particular, is a hometown favorite and has built a dominant defense in San Francisco.

In other words, he would be a hit among the Texan fans who suffered through the three-year trifecta of Crennel, Culley and Smith. Let’s hope he doesn’t listen to Stephen A.’s race baiting.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who divides his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he has written for the Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who divides his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he has written for the Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (particularly British comics and modern Japanese literature), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (both American and international variants).

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Catholic University of America

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American politics, world politics, culture NFL Affirmative Action backfires as ESPN analyst discourages black coaches

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