Post-Super Bowl LVII, More Black NFL Coaches, Por Favor (Part 1)Episode 3
After dispensing with the post Super Bowl pleasantries, Kevin “Boss” Ross ponders why there’s a lack of Black coaches in the N.F.L., and offers up three solutions that can definitely change the game.
READ FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Kevin Ross: Hi, I’m Kevin Ross and this is The Podcast. Post Super Bowl 57, More Black NFL Coaches, por favor part one.
Kevin Ross: I dig Rihanna but that halftime performance, it was just okay for me. But hey, I’m gonna give the Barbados mommy a pass because being pregnant again, not even a year after giving birth the first time. That’s a lot. And definitely congratulations to her and rapper A$AP Rocky on their upcoming nuptials. Got to talk about my girl Sheryl Lee Ralph causing one or two Republicans to get all in a tizzy over her rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. Hey, I’m a fan. I’m a woke Black National Anthem fan, okay. Baby face singing the song “America the Beautiful”, good stuff. And the pièce de résistance was watching two black quarterbacks battle till the end. Great game. The Chiefs Patrick Mahomes, now known as the first half a billion dollar player in sports history with that incredible 10 year no trade clause contract, was able to pull it out 38 – 35 and make history against Jalen Hurts’ Eagles.
Kevin Ross: Which by the way I was, that’s who I was pulling for but I digress. Can I say it? Maybe I shouldn’t say it. I’m just gonna say it. Sorry, not sorry, this year’s Super Bowl was the blackest national event I’ve ever seen. We’re not even halfway through Black History Month and I’m still feeling all kind of Wakanda, over a doggone football game. Okay, a football game. This is the reason why the Super Bowl remains the most popular spectator event in America. What we witnessed on Sunday, February 12th was the highest rated primetime telecast in six years with some 113 million viewers. And yet the National Football League continues to be underrepresented by black coaches and owners, which they aren’t any of the latter. And of course that’s another discussion for another time. But while the NFL has repeatedly acknowledged that there’s a dearth of black coaches, huge racial discrepancies inexplicably continue to plague the league.
Kevin Ross: What’s up with that? Starting the NFL’s 2022 season, 70% of the players were black, 34% of the quarterbacks were Black. And you’re gonna tell me 9% of the coaches, three out of thirty two teams are Black. It doesn’t add up. Now as the season ended in 2023, there were five, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who’s made two Super Bowl appearances, one win. Todd Bowles of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who actually coached at my alma mater, HBCU Morehouse College- That’s an important factor that we’re gonna dissect later on. Lovie Smith, Houston Texans, although he was fired on January 8th, 2023. Good news is that he was replaced by DeMeco Ryans, African-American, who was hired on January 23rd by the Texans.
Kevin Ross: So that’s four. Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins- He’s the head coach there. He’s biracial, but he still has some brother in him, so we’re counting him as a number. And we did have Steve Wilks as the Carolina Panthers interim head coach, but he wasn’t retained and instead Frank Reich the first starting quarterback in Panthers history, ended up getting the permanent top spot on January the 26th. So that’s the extent of who we would identify as being black coaches. When we look at Robert Saleh, who’s coaching the New York Jets, he’s considered uh, Muslim- Lebanese- Egyptian and then of course you have Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders, who is Hispanic. But other than those five African-Americans and the two that I just mentioned that are non black but are men of color. That’s it. That’s the diversity.
Kevin Ross: You know what? There’s been enough discussion about this so much so that I’m done. It’s time for solutions. And personally, from my vantage point, I think it needs to be advanced, this issue needs to be attacked using a three pronged approach. One, exhaust all legal remedies available right now. I mean we’ve gone from Johnnie Cochran, attorney Cochran bringing the issue to the forefront in 2002. To the 2003 Rooney Rule being implemented to address the disparities to 20 years later, defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, Brian Flores currently suing for a head coach position. Flores is now forcing the issue.
Kevin Ross: So I am all with that. I’m gonna put on my legal hat and do a little bit of discovery in this regard because otherwise, we’re not getting any satisfaction on this issue. The needle isn’t moving. So that’s the first thing. Two, pressure white allies to become more vocal and assertive than they have been. And uh Seahawks head Coach Pete Carroll, chief of the uh of Kansas city, Coach Andy Reid. Yes sir, I’m talking to you. We need more allies who are non of color, individuals to take this on. If we’re going to have any sort of success. And three,
Kevin Ross: start having HBCU serve as a pipeline into the NFL because there’s the Ed Reed way of doing things and then there’s the prime time Deion Sanders way of doing things. And I think that there’s certainly a lot of room to have a discussion as it pertains to how that can help us with this issue. On my next episode, we’re gonna do a deeper dive into each of these three areas. Don’t miss it.
Kevin Ross: I’m Kevin Ross and this is The Podcast powered by theGrio. Thanks for listening. See you next time.