NFL should live up to its slogans, hire Black head coaches

by Ezekiel J. Walker
black head coach nfl
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As the NFL season approaches its finale next month, an annual tradition has already begun. Each season around this time of year (ominously dubbed Black Monday) teams make difficult decisions in order to stay competitive in a cutthroat league where winning is the only thing that matters. 

As we currently sit, Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin is the only Black Head Coach in the NFL… again.

For years Black coaches have been hired and fired at Tyreek Hill speed, even while outperforming their white counterparts. 

The NFL – America’s most profitable sport by far – often replicates the very nature of modern and traditional corporate hiring practices. Like many Fortune 500s, the turnover in the NFL operates like a revolving door for Blacks and an impenetrable vault sealed for whites. 

tyler lockett

FILE – Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett smiles after an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Glendale, Ariz., in this Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, file photo. The Seattle Seahawks and veteran wide receiver Tyler Lockett have agreed to a four-year contract extension that includes $37 million guaranteed, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, on the condition of anonymity because the extension had not been announced by the team. (AP Photo/Jennifer Stewart, File)

Put your money where your mouth is

Black coaches are often smeared with dismissive labels such as “doesn’t interview well” to the point that many coaches feel the hiring practice is more smoke than mirrors, understanding they are interviewed as a mere formality.

It is a fact that most Black coaches have more experience on average as assistant, offensive and defensive or special teams coaches and couldn’t be more qualified for Head Coach positions, however, ‘working twice as hard to get half as much’ isn’t always a guarantee.

Meanwhile, the NFL’s 32 teams stamped helmets and painted end zones with generic-at-best and pandering-at-worst slogans like “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism”. Yet, the simple fact is its individual owners do not practice what’s collectively preached. Much like politicians who use Dr. King for their individual purpose, the NFL is all about aesthetics while responding a day late and dollar short to historically evidenced internal racial hiring disparities. 

With the 2021 season coming to a close, there are eight open vacancies for head coaching opportunities and a plethora of over qualified and under-utilized Black coaches who have earned the right to lead. Now it’s the NFL’s turn.


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Melvin McGowan February 15, 2022 - 10:31 pm

I think to make changes in nfl for change,u got hit dem in pockets of owners, stop playing black players have the power, for hiring black Gm,n coaches

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