Is the NFL racist? The question surfaced recently after “Black Monday”, the day after the final round of regular season games, that saw a total of seven NFL head coaches fired.
Five of whom are African-American: Todd Bowles, Vance Joseph, Marvin Lewis, Steve Wilks, and Hue Jackson (fired in October). Many in the left-wing sports media are making claims of racial bias against NFL ownership.
Thenation.com reported that 70 percent of the league is African-American yet the number of black coaches has never hit 30 percent.
Louis Riddick of ESPN stated that the firings are a very significant problem in that only two black coaches remain in a predominantly African American league.
Stephen A Smith ranted on his show about there not being a single black team owner, yet also saying no coach deserved to be fired more than Marvin Lewis. Forbes claims that the issue isn’t the lack of black coaches, but the lack of black general managers.
The late Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney was the chairman of the NFL’s workplace diversity committee before his death. In 2002, the Rooney rule was created. It says that all NFL teams must interview at least one minority candidate during a coaching search. Even if a team knows who they want to hire before even firing their current coach, they still must interview at least one minority.
The question that some have is, why are coaches not held to the same standard as players? Meaning that players are expected to perform at a level higher than their replacement. Or they will be benched, traded, or released.
Only two black starting quarterbacks have ever won a Superbowl, yet no one is complaining of the lack of minority passers. The reason why is because players can either play or they can’t.
Of the coaches that were fired this year all of them either underperformed or did not meet the teams expectations.
Marvin Lewis coached the Bengals for 16 seasons. In that time he did not have a single playoff win.
Vance Joseph was the first coach in Denver Broncos history to post back to back losing seasons.
Todd Bowles had a record of 16 games below .500 and never reached the playoffs with the Jets in 4 seasons.
Steve Wilks led the Cardinals to their worst season in franchise history (3-13) since the team moved St. Louis in 1988, this along with having the leagues worst offense in PPG (14.1) and YPG (241.6).
Hue Jackson was given two and half seasons to fix the Browns. His record was 3-36-1 including an 0-16 season last year.
What we have here is a classic case of the media spinning this into something that it’s not. Racially motivated terminations by white NFL owners? No, these are individuals getting fired for a lacklustre job performance.