Following the end of the 2018 NFL season, lliberal sports media bitterly denounced the dismissal of five of the league's eight African-American head coaches. While these coaches' combined records with their respective teams was an icy cold 21-50-1, J.R. Gamble, of The Shadow League website, said NFL owners "eradicated" most of the African-American head coaches this offseason.
Six NFL teams have hired their new coaches, all of them white, which is only ratcheting up the racism narrative of the media. Dallas WFAA TV's Dale Hansen went off about white privilege, and The Washington Post's Jerry Brewer accused the NFL of merely giving lip service to diversity.
Former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury (see photo), selected this week to become the next head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, has quickly emerged as the poster boy for white privilege and the attack on diversity. Hansen says, "Kingsbury fits all the criteria to be a head coach in the NFL: He's an offensive genius, he's young — and he's white, and not necessarily in that order."
Hansen, who practically apologizes for himself being a product of white privilege, says the Kingsbury hiring demonstrates "a symptom of the NFL's reckless and illogical hiring practices and an example of why the league will never have real diversity — not just racial, but diversity of strategy and styles of play."
Brewer charges the NFL owners with a groupthink that limits coaching opportunities for minorities. Kingsbury, he says, is the misguided obsession du jour. Brewer accuses the league of going to great lengths to avoid giving genuine consideration to minority candidates who "are humble NFL lifers and grinders who specialize in defense or special teams or any other job less glamorous than decorating the scoreboard."
Last month the NFL revised the Rooney Rule in an attempt to prevent sham interviews of minority coaching candidates. But in the first few days of January, the white Kingsbury has replaced Steve Wilks, an African-American and winner of just three games in his only season as head coach at Arizona. Adam Gase, another white coach who was fired by Miami, is reportedly replacing the African American Todd Bowles with the New York Jets, and white Freddie Kitches replaces black Hue Jackson in Cleveland.
The racial makeup of these coaching moves to media that the Rooney Rule is mere window dressing for actual diversity. Brewer sees it as just a speed limit sign that pro football owners ignore. Hansen sees the Rooney Rule as little more than camouflage for "covert racism."
To Brewer, "Kingsbury feels like more of the same. He's a coach who can relate to an out-of-touch owner desperate to sell tickets ... ." The Cardinals have selected a head coach who is failing up, a "misfit that the offense-loving cool kids have touted for no good reason."
Just two teams still have coaching vacancies: Miami and Cincinnati, and there is a chance both teams could hire minority candidates. Brewer tells the Bengals and Dolphins to do something truly original, to try harder and vet the uncelebrated coaches — like the Los Angeles Chargers did with Anthony Lynn, a minority coach whose team is still alive in the AFC playoff hunt.