Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittburgh Steelers, is one of three Black head coaches remaining in the NFL. (Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
African-American players made up 67 percent of the NFL in 2011, according to the Institute For Diversity and Ethics in Sports, but very little Blacks are running things hire up. The league recently finished filling their eight open head coach positions, which all went to white men.
There are currently only three African-American head coaches in the NFL: Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings. In an editorial, Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports blasted the league for neglecting to diversify its hiring pool of head coaches and other upper-level positions.
Writes Yahoo! Sports:
In an era in which American society seems to be getting increasingly progressive when it comes to social issues, from acceptance of gay marriage to the re-election of a Black president, the NFL seems to be going backward.
I used to write about this topic quite a bit, back in the days when the NFL's minority-coaching representation was downright shameful, and it bothers some people that I'm revisiting it now. Shockingly, the vast majority of these people who decry the fact that I'm "playing the race card" (as if the mere mention of race is a verboten ploy) are — wait for it — white people.
Perhaps, to outsiders, the notion that many minority candidates have faced a tougher road to advancement than their white counterparts is unworthy of attention. But in my world, one in which whites are a minority among players, this is a legitimate topic of discussion among the rank-and-file and, especially, among African-American coaches and front-office executives who are frustrated with the current state of affairs.
Read the full story here.
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