Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices sports

Black Voices: The NFL profits off Black players, but won’t let them have positions of power


Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores and Houston Texans coach David Culley were fired last week, leaving Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin as the only Black coach in the NFL. 

The NFL shows no sign of taking action to add diversity in head coaching, showing how little they care about fixing it.

In a predominantly Black sport, it should not be possible for only one Black coach to be left in the league. 

Black NFL coaches are rarely able to become head coaches in the NFL, according to The Atlantic. When they are, team owners expect them to accomplish twice as much in a shorter amount of time than their white counterparts.

After three seasons, two of which finished with winning records, Flores will not have another year with the Dolphins. With the Dolphins, he has become a "rising star" and helped the team grow each year of his tenure. His first season in 2019 was his only losing record, and this season he won eight of his final nine games, including the last game of the season. 

Culley was given even less of a shot.

He was fired after just one season coaching the Houston Texans. Culley was almost doomed to fail, starting the season without their starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.

There were seven head coach jobs available last season, and a Black man filled only one. In the four seasons before, there have been 27 openings, and only three Black coaches were offered a job, according to The Undefeated.

Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, spoke about the lack of opportunity Black coaches have in an interview with The Washington Post last week. 

"There is a double standard, and we've seen that,” Vincent said in the interview. “And you talk about the appetite for what's acceptable. Coach Dungy was let go in Tampa Bay after a winning season. So we have seen this. … Coach Wilks, just a few years prior, was let go after one year." 

Vincents’ statements show white coaches are historically given more opportunities to build and grow with an NFL team and aren't forced to meet Black coaches' standards.

In a predominantly Black sport, it should not be possible for only one Black coach to be left in the league. 

This lack of diversity in coaching is yet another example of how the NFL continuously neglects racial issues. The situation with  Colin Kapernick and his kneeling during the national anthem in a protest about these problems in 2016 is one of the most notable examples in the last few years. 

The NFL would be nowhere without the presence of Black bodies but keeps those same players from positions of power at every step.

Get stories like this in your inbox