Time is money. Delaying the inevitable is a waste of time. NFL owners can afford to do that.
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The league that continually admits to having a long-time problem when it comes to hiring Black coaches, but never rectifies the situation by hiring Black coaches, has approved the proposal to delay in-person head-coach interviews involving candidates employed by NFL teams until after the divisional round of the playoffs by a vote of 32-0 according to a report from Albert Breer from The MMQB.
“(Diversity, equity, inclusion) has received more attention in our owners’ meetings than probably any subject we have been discussing in the last five years, and I think that focus has been helpful to the clubs as well as to all of us,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday. “Our understanding of the priorities, the need to do this and how we do it better. I know the focus is on head coaches, we understand that, but we’re focused on the entire league. How do we continue to have diversity be a part of our league and make us better?
“And we reported on the broader diversity numbers both at the league level and the club level and there is significant progress. But, when you say frustration, I’m probably always frustrated by the pace of progress. Right? It’s never enough for yours truly. So, we obviously know we have work to do here, and the clubs are very focused on this, and it has to be a sustainable change, and I think that’s where the ownership is.”
In case you forgot, there are only three Black head coaches in the NFL — two more than there were in 1921. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh), Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay), and DeMeco Ryans (Houston) make up the melanated trinity. Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel doesn’t count, as he chooses to be identified as human instead of Black. He suffers from the same diseases as NBC’s Mike Tirico, who claims to be Italian.
As well-intentioned as Goodell’s comments are on the matter, and the repeated fake diversity programs that the league holds so that white owners can act like they want to get to know Black candidates, when it comes time for coaching vacancies to be filled the result is always the same as Black candidates get left out in the cold. It’s why this week’s vote was a pointless gesture. Pushing the dates back for interviews doesn’t matter when most owners only view the meetings as a formality they must complete before hiring the sorry white candidate they’d already been coveting.
This is a league in which “Black Monday” is just the day before white coaches get hired on Tuesday. This is a league in which white coaches get praised for letting Black assistants run the show during the preseason. This is a league that’s facing a lawsuit from former NFL Media employee Jim Trotter for racial discrimination/retaliation, as his lawsuit reads like a playbook for how the NFL and its owners mistreat Black people. And this is a league that’s still on its way to trial in open court due to Brian Flores’ lawsuit alleging racist hiring practices against Black coaches by the league and multiple teams.
This week, NFL owners passed a unanimous vote that did the bare minimum. Pushing back the date for head-coaching interviews isn’t going to level the playing field or give an owner a chance to realize that some Black offensive/defensive coordinator is better than he originally thought. All the owners did was make overqualified Black candidates wait longer to be brought in for interviews for a job that will go to white coaches with half their resumes and/or none of their playing experience.