Around this time last year following the 2018 season, Black Monday took on a whole new meaning after eight head coaches got served their walking papers.
Among them were four African-American coaches, Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals, Todd Bowles of the New York Jets, Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos and Steve Wilks of the Arizona Cardinals, not to mention Hue Jackson who was fired during the season by the Cleveland Browns.
That left only two Black head coaches remaining in Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers. That would change slightly in February when the Miami Dolphins signed Brian Flores as their new head coach. But that was it, and it remains that way on the first day of 2020.
The New York Times dropped an article about it before the new year, called, “Only Three N.F.L. Head Coaches Are Black. ‘It’s Embarrassing,’” that spoke on the lack of minorities in the National Football League.
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“The Quarterback Summit, organized by the N.F.L. and held for a second straight year, took on a new urgency when the number of minority head coaches and general managers plummeted by half (from eight to four and four to two, respectively) in the 2019 off-season, reversing years of progress.
Recently, the main avenue to head coaching jobs in the N.F.L. has been experience guiding an offense, a role in which minorities have been underrepresented. Among the 32 teams this season, there were two African-American offensive coordinators and 10 defensive coordinators.
The summit “was birthed out of looking at the last few hiring cycles, and the appetite for offensive coaches,” said Troy Vincent, the N.F.L.’s executive vice president of football operations. “When you look at the demographics, it’s embarrassing.”
Rod Graves, who is a former NFL general manager and league executive, stated, “For all the hoopla that football has become in this country, that kind of progress, or lack of, is shameful.”
The firing of Ron Rivera from the Carolina Panthers brought the number of minority head coaches overall down to three.
“For years, African-American coaches have had an easier time being hired for defensive jobs, their roles apparently circumscribed by the kind of stereotypes that have long steered black players toward defense and away from certain offensive positions — quarterback, in particular, but also tight end and the offensive line.
In addition to the scarcity of minority offensive coordinators this season, there were only two African-American coaches for quarterbacks — despite the growing impact of black quarterbacks in the league — plus five for tight ends and one for offensive linemen.”
It was back in 2003 when the NFL introduced the Rooney Rule, which requires that each club interview at least one minority candidate from outside the organization when trying to hire a head coach, assistant coaches or senior executives in football operations. It has not worked out in the way they expected, so we clearly still have a long way to go.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.