With less than 100 days before the 2022 season begins and a week after the NFL hosts a “diversity summit“For Black coaches, the NBA has shown us how useless those summit meetings are when you run a league where the best is hired for the job.
When the Los Angeles Lakers hired Darvin Ham – the pride of Saginaw, Michigan – last week, it meant that half of the coaches in a Black league like the NBA were… Black. Imagine that. A league where the bosses (coach) somewhat mirror the workforce (players).
The NBA, which is more than 70% Black, has 15 Black coaches, while the NFL, which is more than 70% Black, has 3 Black coaches. Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel doesn’t count because he doesn’t identify as Black.
“I identify as a human and my father is Black,” McDaniel declared at his introductory press conference.
One of the annoying things about racism is that those who deny it always want some kind of “evidence,” as if hate could be quantified. But, sometimes it is like that. And in light of the ongoing shortage of black coaches in the NFL, the NBA has now released a statistic that demonstrates how racist recruiting practices in the NFL are.
Since 2000, only 26 black men – sans McDaniel – has been hired as a head coach in the NFL. And most of the time, they’re sent in to clean up unlikely messes and don’t have enough time to turn things around like their white counterparts. And once they’re out the door, it’s back to the role of coordinator, because Black coaches rarely get a second chance at being the head of the facility.
Come to think of it, have you ever seen Jeff Fisher’s version of Black in the NFL?
No. We are not allowed to go 8/8 each season and are still respected, loved and always considered when it comes to employment.
The peak of black coaching in the NFL occurred in 2007, when Lovie Smith (Bears) and Tony Dungy (Colts) met during the Super Bowl. Me, because this is still the only time two Black coaches have met at the biggest sporting event on the planet. Since 2000, only five black coaches have participated in the Super Bowl, and the last to do so was Mike Tomlin, which happened over a decade ago in 2011.
This is the part where I remind you that the new version of The XFL, which will begin in 2023, already has more Black coaches than the NFL, as Hines Ward, Terrell Buckley, Reggie Barlow and Rod Woodson will make up four of the league’s eight head coaches. They will star Wade Phillips, Bob Stoops, Anthony Becht and Jim Haslett.
In the NBA, Black coaches have reached the Finals the last two seasons. And since 2000, 11 Black Shirt coaches have been in the final series of the knockout rounds.
It’s ridiculous how one Black league can find talented Black coaches, but another black league needs annual seminars and conventions just to collect records. Loretta Lynch should probably tell her client – the NFL – is settle the case of Brian Flores sooner, because how do you explain this when the NBA just proved that racism is a choice? And an expensive one there.