African Americans in football

Dear reader(s), I have until now strictly talked only sports. In this post I want to explore a debate. Mina Kimes is a writer and sports analyst for ESPN. She does not shy away from addressing racism and sexism in sports. This angers many people. Although some may see it as a bold and necessary stance, for others they don’t want these hot button issues involved in sports. Kimes wrote on twitter, “two years ago, @SandoESPN wrote about the lack of diversity amongst NFL coaches. the issue has been compounded by the fact that teams are increasingly looking for offensive specialists–and QB coaches tend to be white. so why are QB coaches white? it’s largely bc, well, QBs tend to be white. this is from a story I wrote in 2016 about a study that found that, all other factors being equal, black coaches were less likely to be promoted. what both stories show, I think, is that the scarcity of non-white head coaches is a systemic problem, and one that stems from racial inequities that go far beyond the Rooney Rule’s reach. it cuts to how players are raised, treated, coached, and discussed.” This prompted much anger and I am going to ignore the visceral and disgusting tweets she received. The question we are left with is why are there so few black coaches in a sport that has so many black players? Some tweeted at her about the problem of the lack of white players in the league as though this is an issue as problematic as the lack of diversity in the coaching ranks. To those people I suggest they read. Also I suggest they read the book Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We’re Afraid To Talk About It by Jon Entine. Using reverse racism or a few examples of successful black coaches is ignoring the issue. The issue is not one of “libtards” feelings being hurt, but rather a simple question. Coaches are generally former players, the majority of players are black, so why aren’t more coaches black? Now at this point in the conversation comes some form of “so you think every owner and GM is a racist?” This argument seems to come from a misconception about the word racist. The people who ask that question see a “racist” as someone who hates black people and shows it. The truth is that racism is any form of unfairness to a race. If you see a young rich black man and think he must be an athlete, that is racism. It doesn’t make you an evil person it is just a bias you have that you should work on. In a similar vein it is not a huge stretch to assume that owners and GMs who have been around the game forever when they see a 35 year old white man on the sidelines they think coach whereas when they see a 35 year old black man on the sidelines they think older player. It of course starts much younger than this, when you are picking a young football team you will see the black kid as a WR or RB and the white kid as the next Brady. Kimes brilliantly points out that The Rooney Rule is not helping enough and as the league becomes more and more offensive more QB coaches (who are mainly white) are getting looks. As more black QBs enter and succeed in the NFL hopefully we will see more black QB coaches. In the meantime we each have our own work to do, to work on defeating our biases and learning to love one another.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s