Suddenly progressives have become aware that affirmative action is demeaning to minorities. Liberal sports writers from SB Nation and the ESPN blog known as The Undefeated are surprisingly ripping an NFL proposal to elevate the draft positions of teams hiring minority coaches and general managers, amid charges of engaging in affirmative action. A Deadspin writer also shreds the idea of allowing teams third-round draft incentives for minority hiring in the aftermath of minority assistant coaches like Kansas City's Eric Bieniemy (in photo) getting passed over for head coaching jobs.
An SB Nation writer who goes by Ryland B. says there's so much wrong with the NFL's idea of improving the third-round draft positions of teams hiring black coaches, general managers or women. Sounding like a conservative opposed to affirmative action, he says the NFL is making the Rooney Rule -- a league requirement for teams with coaching and general manager vacancies to include minorities in the interview process -- worse.:
"Rewarding teams for hiring minorities is simply disrespectful. Assuming that bribery is necessary for the hiring of minority coaches seems to insinuate that such candidates can’t get hired on their own — will an asterisk have to be placed by every non-white hiring?
"Whatever happened to the best-qualified individual getting the job?"
This writer from a progressive blog actually argues the proposal before the NFL is a clunky idea, "as if making decisions purely based on skin color was ever a good idea," and adds that coaching hires should not be made for racial reasons or draft ambitions." If adopted, this rule will be abused and minorities will be disrespected even more than are now.
Using the logic of the proposed new rule, Ryland B. asks if Carolina deserves incentives for being one of the few teams featuring a white running back (Christian McCaffrey). He also raises the question of whether or not teams should be punished for not employing white cornerbacks? Or if San Francisco deserves draft elevation for having a female assistant coach.
The answers to these questions should be no, but what, B. asks, will stop the NFL from attempting to balance the uneven racial numbers at every other position?
The controversial proposal will need the consent of 24 of 32 NFL owners to pass. These amendments to the Rooney Rule "are blatantly disrespectful, poorly-planned, and seemingly devoid of common sense," B. says.
The Undefeated writer Jason Reid is also skeptical. He writes that this proposal, if passed, "won’t make a dent in a problem that continues to put the league in an awful light." Furthermore, he addressed charges of affirmative action:
"The very idea is controversial, and it figures to spark heated debate throughout the game in the run-up to Tuesday’s expected vote. If the proposal is approved, the league could face backlash from fans who might view the concept as a form of affirmative action."
Reid also says that the incentives only give teams a chance to improve their draft positions in the third round because Commissioner Roger Goodell would no more allow first-round elevations than it would give Colin Kaepernick a humanitarian award.
Rob Parker, also a contributor to Fox Sports, wrote a fiery article on Deadspin denouncing the plan to be considered Tuesday by NFL owners. Minority players can see right through the NFL's draft position incentive proposal, Parker writes, and they should refuse to play for teams that don’t give equal opportunities to black players after their playing careers end. "That’s the only way you can force owners to do the right thing. You have to hurt them financially. Then it hurts."
Parker concludes that the draft incentives plan is "loony."
USA Today's Jarrett Bell fears that such a rule change would attach a stigma to a minority hire as tainted by charges of affirmative action.
Darin Gantt, of NBC Pro Football Talk, called the proposal "revolutionary," and cited a second proposal that is much more sensible. It would force NFL teams to allow other teams to interview their minority offensive or defensive coordinator for head coaching jobs, which teams can currently prevent.