Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
During Sunday’s AFC championship game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs, Tony Romo nearly canceled himself after almost letting the n-word slip out of his mouth.
In the pivotal fourth quarter, Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco impressively broke a few tackles on the Chief’s road to victory, and Romo’s cringeworthy commentary would leave viewers incredulous.
Though many football fans believe Romo’s short-lived broadcast career has downward spiraled this NFL season, his record contract, coupled with zero broadcast experience, is reflective of the NFL’s good ol’ boy hiring bias.
According to Front Office Sports, on April 4, 2017, CBS announced it was hiring a then-36-year-old Romo as its top analyst.
Romo’s first TV contract was for $3 million annually over three years; he would also be placed in evening and primetime matchups, along with playoff games, increasing his exposure to the massive NFL audience.
In 2020, Romo and CAA negotiated a then-record $18 million-per-year deal with CBS that made him the first eight-figure announcer in sports TV history.
Tony Romo remains very close to Jerry Jones
Jerry Jones, the same Dallas Cowboys owner who said his players would not kneel for the national anthem and also stood by in a crowd of screaming racists, has always supported Romo on and off the field.
“You’ve heard me say it’s right there maybe my most disappointing thing about the Cowboys for me is not winning a Super Bowl or be in one with Tony Romo. And we just weren’t able when we didn’t have him, we weren’t able to compensate for that. That had something to do with him not being on a Super Bowl team,” said Jones.
NBC News reported during the 2011 NFL lockout, which prevented owners from having contact with players, Jerry Jones finagled his way to Romo’s wedding.
“I’ve gotten special permission,” Jones told ESPN. “But more than anything, [I got the] right ticket from him and his fianceé — Romo’s wife-to-be. [It’s] one of prettiest invitations I’ve ever seen. So, yes, I will be there and [I’m] proud for him. He’s got the best end of this deal.”
Though a consistent big game flopper who was outplayed and benched for Dak Prescott in 2016, Tony Romo has since mentored Jones’ grandson, John Stephen.
Much like Black NFL coaches who get constantly overlooked, even with better winning records and lesser talent than their White counterparts, Romo has been allowed to fail upwards well after his forgettable playing career.
More like a son than a former player, Jones has mentored Romo and consistently spoken glowingly of him, regardless of the mediocre performance on the field and in the broadcast booth.
Yet, current Cowboys QB, Dak Prescott, who is Black, has consistently been called out by Jones, even as early as one week ago from the official Dallas Cowboys Twitter account, an unthinkable move by an NFL franchise to its own field general.
If Romo follows Jones’s playbook regarding controversial race topics in America, it’s likely he won’t address the near blunder and will move on without being accountable for yet another playoff fumble.