Let's See if the NFL Really Is Racist

The National Football League is a systemically racist organization steeped in white supremacy.  Or so thinks former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who recently filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and its teams, accusing them of conducting sham interviews and discriminating against Black coaches.

Flores's lawsuit has served to galvanize social justice warriors looking to further divide society by race and gin up resentment against the NFL — a league whose players are ironically over 70 percent Black and whose "Say Their Stories" initiative includes stenciling BLM messages in end zones and on the backs of player helmets.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell immediately responded to Flores's lawsuit with a public statement:

Racism and any form of discrimination is contrary to the NFL's values.  We have made significant efforts to promote diversity and adopted numerous policies and programs which have produced positive change in many areas, however we must acknowledge that particularly with respect to head coaches the results have been unacceptable.  We will reevaluate and examine all policies, guidelines, and initiatives relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including as they relate to gender.

Diversity only goes in one direction — replacing whiteness with "color."  The reality that African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the American population yet represent over 70 percent of NFL players is clearly a diversity problem.  If the NFL were truly "equitable" (using the progressive definition of equal outcome over equal opportunity), then the league should be roughly 60 percent White, 20 percent Hispanic, 15 percent Black, and 5 percent "other."

Yet there have been no calls for player diversity or accusations of systemic racism operating within the NFL Scouting Combine or player draft.  No one questions the organic process of selecting players based on physical prowess, raw talent, and skill level.  It's collectively understood that those who make it in the NFL are legitimate and deserve to be there.

Yet when it comes to NFL coaching and management, a lack of diversity is not accepted as simply the natural result of coaching experience or a talent pool, but rather condemned as some systemically racist process kept in place by white supremacist owners and general managers colluding to keep the NFL coaching ranks free from minorities.  Amazingly, this narrative is continuously put forward, despite the NFL bending over backward to diversify its coaching ranks, including implementing the Rooney Rule.

Charles Barkley had this to say on the subject: "Did you know that we got a better chance of getting a black woman on the Supreme Court than we do having a black NFL head coach right now?" 

Here are some statistics regarding Black coaches and the NFL, which go against Goodell's claims that progress has been "unacceptable." 

For those unfamiliar with the NFL, there are 32 teams in the league, meaning one head coach per team for a total of 32 per year (more if any coach gets fired before the year ends).  According to Wikipedia's "List of National Football League Head Coaches," there have been 149 head coaches in the NFL from 2000 to 2021 (this current season).

Of the 32 teams currently in the league, 23 have had a Black head coach.  Eight of these teams have had multiple Black head coaches.  For example, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers employed Tony Dungy (1996–2001), Raheem Morris (2009–2011), and Lovie Smith (2014–2015) as head coaches.  

The Cleveland Browns had Terry Robiskie (interim head coach 2004), Romeo Crennel (2005–2008), and Hue Jackson (2016–2018).  

The Minnesota Vikings had Dennis Green (1992–2001) and Leslie Frazier (2010–2013).   

The New York Jets had Herman Edwards (2001–2005) and Todd Bowles (2015–2018).   

The Indianapolis Colts had Tony Dungy (2002–2008) and Jim Caldwell (2009–2011).

And of course, the Miami Dolphins had Todd Bowles (2011) and Brian Flores (2019–2021).

In fact, since 2000, there have been 22 Black head coaches in the NFL, on 23 different teams.  This doesn't include Art Shell, who was the head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders from 1988 to 1994.  

In the 2010 season, there were seven Black head coaches: Leslie Frazier (Vikings), Raheem Morris (Buccaneers), Jim Caldwell (Colts), Marvin Lewis (Bengals), Lovie Smith (Bears), Mike Singletary (49ers), and Eric Studesville (interim head coach for the Broncos for the last four games).

Interestingly, African-Americans currently make up nearly 30 percent of assistant coaches in the NFL, another little side note that gets conveniently overlooked.

The fact that Blacks make up 70 percent of players and 30 percent of assistant coaches, and have been the head coach of 23 different teams since 2000 (about 15 percent), is far from "unacceptable" — especially when they represent only 13 percent of the national population.  What is unacceptable, besides Roger Goodell's need to participate in the latest racial shakedown of the league, is the fact that "diversity" views whiteness as an obstacle or impediment, something that must be disrupted or replaced (again, there's no problem with the NFL's lack of "diversity" of players).

Talented head coaches are extremely hard to find, no matter their race.  The fact that the Steelers' Mike Tomlin is currently the only Black head coach in the NFL clearly has the diversity police — who care more about identity politics than football — up in arms.  It's these people who are ruining the game for everyone, especially the fans.  

There are still a number of head coaching vacancies in the NFL for next season, which, like Joe Biden's search for a Supreme Court justice, will now undoubtedly be more about skin color than anything else.  The Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, and New Orleans Saints are still shopping for head coaches.  After the lawsuit by Flores and the squabbling by Goodell, the pressure is on.  Expect most or all of these teams to bring in a Black head coach, right fit for the job or not.

Image via Pexels.

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