NFL fails to provide an equal playing field for coaches of color


In the NFL, minority coaches are at a disadvantage in the hiring process.

Ryan Lemberger

During the NFL season, while football fans are paying attention to the game, some media personnel are paying attention to the difference in race between players and coaches.

Minority coaches are disproportionately disadvantaged when it comes to the hiring process in the NFL. According to ESPN, approximately 70% of NFL players in the 2021 season were African American. However, less than 15% of NFL coaches were African American in the same season. This has led to recent lawsuits and explosion in the media.

The recent rise of the controversy began when former Miami Dolphins head coach, Brian Flores, sued the NFL for racism in the coaching selection process.

Flores was fired from his position with the Dolphins after an unsuccessful 2021 season. However, when applying for a job with the New York Giants, Flores later learned that he was interviewed after the job was given to Brian Daboll. Flores discovered this when Patriots coach Bill Belichick mistakenly texted Flores instead of Daboll congrating him on a job he never received.

“Sounds like you have landed—congrats,” Belichick wrote. “I hear from Buffalo & NYG that you are their guy.”

Initially, it appears that Belichick was trying to hide his mistake of texting Brain Flores instead of Brain Daboll. A few text messages later, Belichick admitted to his fault.

“Sorry—I f**ked this up. I double checked & misread the text. I think they are naming Daboll,” Belichick wrote.

Flores explained that he believes the Giants had no intentions of hiring him and instead interviewed him to fulfill the NFL’s minority interview requirement (whenever a team interviews for a major position, they must consider candidates from the minority population).

Flores feels privileged to be given the opportunity to coach in the NFL in the first place. He has gained so much experience and has football knowledge that can help lead a team to success.

“God has gifted me with a special talent to coach the game of football, but the need for change is bigger than my personal goals,” Flores said.

As a result of the incident, Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL.

“For me it was having a fair and equal opportunity to go and have an interview and show your acumen, show intelligence, show your ability to lead, show your willingness and your leadership. Oftentimes, it’s not a fair and equal playing field,” Flores said in a public statement.

In response, the NFL released statements responding to the lawsuits from Flores.

“The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organizations,” said the NFL in an online statement.

The case is under review and awaiting further legal action.

While the NFL claims that they support those of the African American community, they have not fully proven it. There needs to be action taken to prevent this from happening again. Racism in the world, especially sports, is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with swiftly.

If the NFL wants to move forward without more controversy over diversity, they must enact and enforce policies that select coaches based on their skills and not race.