Skip to comments.Racial politics sack the NFL
Posted on 08/05/2003 6:50:14 AM PDT by bedolido
Pressure tactics produce a flawed diversity plan
One of the summer's oddest stories is that the National Football League has fined the Detroit Lions $200,000 for hiring a white coach. This is the work of the NFL diversity committee (three committees, actually - two inside the league and one loaded with NFL personnel but pressuring from outside). Teams are still free to hire white coaches. Legally, it could hardly be otherwise. But teams are required to interview at least one minority candidate before picking a coach. Is this an awful idea? Not if a team is conducting a wide-open search that includes first-time or little-known candidates. But if a famous coach is available and the issue is really settled because he wants to come, the diversity rule requires elaborate charades to be played in public. The team must earnestly contact people it doesn't want.
In the case of the Lions, everyone seems to have behaved with admirable candor, despite the rule. The team indicated that it was interested in a famous white coach, Steve Mariucci. The Lions say they contacted five minority prospects for the job, but all five declined to be interviewed because they knew about Mariucci.
Stuck with a foolish let's-pretend diversity policy, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue turned to bluster. He told the Lions that although some of the team's difficulties were beyond their control, they hadn't taken "sufficient steps to satisfy the commitment" they had made. Did this mean that for the sake of appearances, the Lions should have found somebody somewhere willing to sit down for a humiliating make-believe interview?
The case for more black coaches is a strong one. Three of the 32 NFL teams have black coaches. That is close to the black percentage of the population. But between 60% and 70% of NFL players are black, and in the normal course of sports, those who play the game are the prime source for future coaches and executives.
In a reasonable world, the league would admit it has not done much to nurture black leadership in a largely black sport. But voluntary efforts are not on the agenda. The league is responding (quite poorly) to Jesse Jackson-type tactics mounted by two aggressive attorneys, Cyrus Mehri and Johnnie Cochran.
The prospect of long, expensive litigation, accompanied by a drumbeat of racism charges, startled the league. Also startling was the Mehri-Cochran demand that teams lose first-round draft choices for failures on the diversity frontier. The league buckled with blinding speed, averting the suit at least for now.
Fast Company magazine reports Mehri "is determined to reshape the companies he sues" and his settlements "often include substantial changes" beyond what a judge might impose. Does the NFL know it's about to be reshaped?
Originally published on August 5, 2003
Teams are required to interview at least one minority candidate before picking a coach. Is this an awful idea? Not if a team is conducting a wide-open search that includes first-time or little-known candidates.
Wrong. It is always an awful idea.
The team should interview who ever they think will help them win.
Color has no place in the decision or the process.
Since black represent only about 12% of the general population, and since 3 of the 32 coaches are black, quota-wise, the blacks are in good shape as coaches. The problem, quota-wise, is obvious--whites are underrepresented in alarming numbers as players in this high-salaried sport. What is needed is affirmative action so that each team has a 44 man roster consisting of 32 whites, 6 blacks and 6 Hispanics.
If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)
Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.
They've already both lost my support, but not for their racial makeup. I refuse to give one penny of my hard earned money to a league made up of whining, complaining men playing a little boy's game who then go out and commit the crimes they do.
Let them rot in their own filth, I'm takin' the kids to the park on Sunday afternoon.
Moreover "they'll" call any such reaction, "Further *poof* a deeply divided, racist America".
Forgive me the sports metaphor but America will buy such an allegation too, hook, line & sinker.
...& that's a slam-dunk.
Don't worry, it'll pay for itself in no time!
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