It's 2022. Have NFL owners have regressed in the treatment of African American head coaches?
Pittsburgh Steelers' leader Mike Tomlin stands as the NFL's lone black coach after David Culley (Houston Texans) and Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins) were recently given pink slips this week. The firings have many believing it's a "no-win" situation for black head coaches as well as executives.
Frustrations are boiling over where fans of all races have taken issue with the manner black coaches are shown the door.
WHY NO LENIENCY?
Why are most NFL owners and general managers more likely to fire a minority coach and show leniency to other underperforming coaches?
David Culley and Steve Wilks (Arizona Cardinals) are examples of where ownership and front-office personnel have shown little patience. Culley walked into a situation where his Pro Bowl quarterback, the top defensive leader and pass rusher, and several other starters via trades and free agency. Regardless, his injury-plagued starting signal-caller and a rookie quarterback won four games in 2021.
After 33 games in Carolina. Head coach Matt Rhule could only muster notch 10 wins for owner David Tepper and general manager Scott Fitterer. Tepper desired a new culture, instead has rewarded the Panthers faithful by backing a coach with 23 losses.
UNDERPERFORMING COACHES GIVEN CHANCES, NOT BLACK COACHES
Another example of questionable hiring practices was former Jets and Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. Miami's owner Stephen Ross hired Gase and left with a 23-25 record in three seasons. In New York he posted a losing 9-23 record with numerous questionable in-game play calls in New York.
Yet, it took Ross three seasons to jettison head coach Brian Flores, who finished his second-consecutive winning season and overall 24-25 record. Ross implied Flores' dismissal was from a power struggle between the coach and general manager Chris Grier.
Today, the league has three minority head coaches, with Mike Tomlin, Robert Saleh, and Ron Rivera standing firm in their positions. Byron Leftwich, Aaron Glenn, Brian Flores, Eric Bieniemy, and Leslie Frazier are notable names on the radar for teams. Eight openings exist in Chicago, Denver, Miami, New York, Jacksonville, Houston, Minnesota, and possibly Las Vegas. If fewer than three positions aren't filled with minority coaches, it will be a travesty.
We shall see.
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