The firing of an African-American NFL coach who won just three of his 40 games is a huge blow to diversity despite his dismal record. This is the reasoning of Jason Reid, senior writer for the ESPN blog that never misses an opportunity to play the race card, The Undefeated.
Last Monday, the Cleveland Browns terminated the contract of head coach Hue Jackson, who won just three of his 40 games in 2 1/2 seasons. He was one of eight black head coaches in the NFL, which matches the league high for most black head coaches. Not enough diversity or job security for minority head coaches writes Reid: "Since last season, however, the number has trended in the wrong direction. Don’t be surprised if it drops again soon."
Reid admits that Jackson, who lost 31 of his first 32 games with the Browns, failed in Cleveland. The winless 2017 Browns matched Detroit's 2008 record for NFL futility with an 0-16 record. When a team in the "Not For Long league" goes 3-36-1 in a 40-game stretch, the coach is going to be relieved of his duties no matter his skin color. One wonders how bad a record it would take for Reid to look past skin color and accept a performance-based firing. Short of that, he offers these lame defenses of Jackson:
"Despite the excitement in northern Ohio about the impressive start of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, and the Browns’ clear improvement this season at 2-5-1 (as low as they were, even incremental progress is worth trumpeting), team ownership still cut ties with Jackson.
"But here’s the problem: In an overwhelmingly African-American league in which almost 70 percent of the players are black, it’s simply unacceptable that so few black people are head coaches. Many African-American assistant coaches and former assistants were upset that Jackson didn’t get more time because of what the move meant for both Jackson individually and black coaches as a whole."
Reid turned to Rock Cartwright, an assistant coach for Jackson's first two seasons in Cleveland, for additional grievance-mongering. "The firing of Jackson was a blow to all black coaches," Cartwright said. “As far as black coaches, I feel the leash is always shorter. ... I was with Hue the first two years [in Cleveland] and we didn’t have the players we needed to win football games, so I would not judge him on those two years."
Ignoring the three-win performance issue, Cartwright griped that "there just aren’t that many [black head coaches]. When even one guy loses a job, you definitely know it’s a loss for everyone who’s trying to get there.”
Reid says he doesn't think Jackson, a respected mentor for younger African-American coaches. will get another opportunity to be a head coach in the NFL. Then he pivots away from Jackson's demise in the sink hole that is the Cleveland franchise and insinuates that other African-American head coaches whose teams are struggling may also get the axe.
"At the midway point of the regular season, it appears several of the other African-American head coaches are on shaky footing," Reid writes. "Todd Bowles of the New York Jets and Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos lead struggling teams. By the end of the season, they may also be boxing up their offices. Although Steve Wilks of the Arizona Cardinals is in his first season, the team has often performed so abysmally that his long-term standing with the franchise seems at least open to debate."
So much for merit-based coaching decisions, it's now all about skin color.