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On Monday, the National Football League (NFL) set forth new diversity and inclusion efforts for the 2022 season at its annual owner’s meeting, including requiring its 32 teams to employ a “female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority” as an offensive assistant, the league said in a statement.
Brian Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL covers racial discrimination because Black men specifically dominate the game of football, yet they are also the unlikeliest to get hired for prominent front office or head coaching roles.
“In recent years, head coaches have predominantly had offensive backgrounds,” the NFL said. “We believe this resolution will assist greatly in continuing to source and identify diverse candidates earlier in their career, providing pipeline depth and furthering developing the diverse offensive pipeline.”
A plan such as this reads well and checks off the boxes, however, owners hire coaches and NFL ownership has been reluctant to make Black men their organization’s head coach and de facto leader.
The NFL takes baby steps on its march to equality.
The league states, “While the increases noted above is a positive step, our diversity numbers are stagnant in the head coach and special teams coordinator roles and have slightly declined in the offensive coordinator role. “While we have made important progress, we have more work ahead of us to ensure we are approaching DEI holistically — including the need to evaluate and adjust policies, incentives, and additional requirements to ensure effectiveness and result in better outcomes for women and people of color.”
All those words and not a one was “Black.”
NFL ownership ultimately decides whom is hired and fired. Until its 32 owners have a change of heart or mind, small steps like this will continue to leave Black coaches at the back of the line.