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Todd Bowles, Super-Bowl winning defensive coordinator, effective today, has become the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach.
Bruce Arians announced yesterday he’s stepping down from the Bucs coveted position to assume a role in the front office as a “senior consultant for football,” he told Peter King of Pro Football Talk.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Todd Bowles will receive a new five-year contract as head coach and with this addition, the NFL now has a grand total of 3 Black head coaches. Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and new-hire Houston Texans’ Lovie Smith are the only other two.
Ever since the league, which grossed over 18 billion dollars in 2021, was sued by Brian Flores nearly two months ago, the NFL has tried to live up to its on-field and helmeted messages of inclusion and unity. Since Flores’ suit was filed, the NFL has responded by hiring minority coaches.
Flores’ lawsuit is making waves.
It was only days ago that the NFL announced plans to hire more female and minority assistants and offensive coordinators, an effort they claim will transition more “diverse” hires to the ranks of head coach. However, what they don’t mention is that much less qualified White candidates have traditionally entered as head coaches into the NFL’s most storied franchises with rabid fanbases and championship aspirations.
Todd Bowles served as the interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins for three games in 2011 and four years as the head coach of the New York Jets (2015-18). He was 26-41 in his coaching career. Though his record is far less than stellar, consider the history of jobs offered to Black head coaches in the NFL.
Black head coaches are routinely given bad jobs.
If we look at the case of the Texans’ Lovie Smith, his experience is the typical one for Black head coaches as his new team has long been regarded as the worst franchise in the league.
Blacks are usually given the worst jobs available and then fired not turning around the win-loss record in a miraculous fashion. Meanwhile, mediocre White coaches, like Kliff Kingsbury are allowed to fail upwards to the ranks of contending teams like the Arizona Cardinals even after a disappointing collegiate record (35-40) and zero NFL experience.
Todd Bowles has a real chance to win a Super Bowl as head coach
Whether on turf or grass, the playing field has long been tilted in favor of White coaches. With the suspect promotion of Todd Bowles to the Bucs, the NFL reminds its viewer’s equality is a game of inches.