NFL needs more Black head coaches


Brook-Ward, Creative Commons

This is an image of Mike Tomlin, who is a Black Head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike Tomlin is now one of three black head coaches in the NFL and has coached 15 years with the Steelers.

Samuel Chacko, News Editor

There has been a big debate about the Rooney Rule and the number of black head coaches that are in the NFL.

The Rooney Rule first started in 2003, and required “every team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one or more diverse candidates before making a new hire”, said the NFL football operations.

NFL football operations pointed to the requirements, “interview at least two external minority candidates for open head coaching positions,” and give compensatory draft picks to teams that sign a minority.

While this rule is better than nothing, this rule isn’t doing much to get minority coaches into coaching roles.

One example was when David Culley was fired from the Texans for only being the head coach after a year, and Culley didn’t have much talent to work within Houston.

Deshaun Watson also had major allegations of sexual misconduct, resulting in him not playing the rest of the season and having an abysmal team doesn’t help Culley.

Steve Wilks was fired after one year with the Cardinals in 2018 and he had just as bad of a roster. There was no Kyler Murray (was in college at the time), Deandre Hopkins wasn’t there (this was before the trade) and had a pretty mediocre team.

Another instance of this was when Brian Flores was released after a 9-8 season and went 8-1 for his last nine games. Flores lasted three seasons with the Dolphins where he went 5-11, 10-6 and 9-8, which were all great records for the caliber of players the Dolphins had.

Just as it was a shock that Brian Flores was let go by the Dolphins, Flores ended up suing the NFL where it alleges discrimination in the hiring (and firing) of coaches.

Brian Flores did a 20-minute interview with Get Up (an ESPN-produced show) where Flores and his attorneys, go into detail with the lawsuit.

When asked about his reason why he filed the lawsuit, Flores pointed out, “At the end of the day, we need change. I think we need to change the hearts and minds of the people who are making those decisions.”

To sum up the allegations, three teams (Broncos, Giants and Dolphins) alleged racism in hiring (and firing) practices and went into detail with those allegations on Get Up (an ESPN-produced show).

Flores alleges that the Giants interviewed him just to comply with the Rooney Rule and the Giants already made up their mind (cites Bill Belichick’s text messages).

Flores also alleges that Dolphins Owner (Stephen Ross) offered Flores $100,000 to tank in 2021 and Ex-GM for Denver (John Elway) and other executives arrived drunk in the interview.

All three teams Broncos, Giants and Dolphins vehemently deny the allegations that Brian Flores talked about.

As of right now, there are currently 3 NFL head coaches: Steelers Mike Tomlin, Dolphins Mike McDaniel and Texans Lovie Smith.

If we go as far as to say that Brian Flores is lying, you can’t deny that there should be more black coaches in the NFL.

Super Bowl Champion coaches like Todd Bowles (former head coach of the Jets and defensive coordinator for Tampa Bay), Byron Leftwich (offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers) and Eric Bieniemy (offensive coordinator for the Chiefs) should be hired.

All three of those coaches are great and were instrumental to their team’s Superbowl runs (for the Chiefs and Buccaneers respectively).

The NFL needs to update the Rooney Rule and give better incentives to teams that sign minority coaches so the best coaches have a job in the NFL.