Why the NFL Needs to Hire More Black Head Coaches

Hue Jackson hired as Browns head coach
Hue Jackson hired as Browns head coach

Three things worth noting in the latest batch of NFL coaching hires: 

1. Of the six newly-named or soon-to-be-named head coaches, only one is African American (Hue Jackson, Cleveland). The remaining five are Caucasian (Chip Kelly, San Francisco; Doug Pedersen, Kansas City; Adam Gase, Miami; Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay; and Ben McAdoo, New York Giants).

Why is this worth mentioning? Because as long as the NFL implements the Rooney Rule, the implication is discrimination still exists among league owners when it comes to hiring minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.

With the Tennessee Titans still in the search process for a head coach, and assuming that Pedersen will become head coach in Philadelphia once the Kansas City Chiefs’ season ends, five of the 31 NFL coaches are African-American. You draw your own conclusions.

The Rooney Rule often is cited as an example of affirmative action, though there is no quota or preference given to minorities in the hiring of candidates. The RR only ensures that teams must interview at least one minority candidate for those jobs. It sounds good in theory, but teams are known to violate the spirit of the rule with token interviews.

Kelly (Philadelphia) and Jackson (Oakland) are former NFL head coaches. Pedersen, Gase, Koetter and McAdoo are newbies.

2. None of the new coaches is named Sean Payton.

According to New Orleans Saints GM Mickey Loomis, reports that he was negotiating a form of compensation with other teams for Payton’s services were not true.

“I never had a discussion with another team,” Loomis said. “No one called me and I didn’t call anyone else.”

That may be true. But Payton’s agent, Donald Yee, could have worked the phones behind the scenes and served as the intermediary in any discussion with interested teams. That’s what agents do.

There may not have been an actual fire but the months of billowing smoke in NFL skies (as reported by numerous reputable reporters) suggested Payton was feeling a bit of wanderlust.

Read between the lines.

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Source: Sun Herald | BRIAN ALLEE-WALSH