Super Bowl Sunday is inarguably one of the most exciting and popular sporting events on Earth. Behind the beer and the chicken wings, we must not forget about ongoing issues in the National Football League, including the lack of African American head coaches and general managers. After the 2018-2019 regular season, 70% of the leagues Black head coaches were let go.
In 2003, the NFL initiated the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule “requires teams to at least interview minority candidates for head coaching positions, but there is no attached mandates for teams to hire them.”
Harry Edwards states that the rule gives owners cover in a league that is overwhelmingly black. So as you can see, though it may be 2019, the need for white power and dominance is still present. Marvin Lewis, who was involved in the Cincinnati Bengals organization for 16 years, held the title for the most wins in franchise history, and, yet, this achievement wasn’t good enough to survive the African American coaching ‘purge’.
Of the 32 teams in the National Football League, only two of the coaches are black. No ownership responsibility is held by a black individual. Edwards worries that this lack of African American representation will seriously affect the NFL locker room atmosphere; he claims that ‘white offices’ can not relate to or motivate a black player the way a black coach can. The failure of the Rooney Rule, which was supposed to increase the number of black coaches in the league, has in fact done the opposite and failed the league and its players.
Take note of how many black coaches you see on the sideline. Enjoy the game.