The NFL has taken diversity in coaching very seriously through the years.
In order to try to get minority head coaches hired, the league enacted what is called the Rooney Rule, in which every team has to interview at least one minority candidate for a head coaching position or be fined.
With no minority head coaches hired this winter out of eight openings, the league is left with Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis, Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin as its only black coaches.
The NFL is considering using the Rooney Rule for defensive and offensive coordinators — positions from which most head coaches are born.
All of this concern over minority hiring has put the NFL and other pro and college sports organizations under the microscope. According to the Bleacher Report:
We spend so much time talking about the lack of diversity in the NFL when the lack of diversity in Major League Baseball is ostensibly the same. After the Miami Marlins fired Ozzie Guillen, MLB has just four non-white managers in its ranks.
While there may be a higher percentage of white players in MLB — and certainly fewer black players in baseball than the NFL — the number of Hispanic and Latino players would lead one to believe that MLB teams would find cultural diversity an asset in a manager.
As the game gets more global, that diversity has yet to fully resonate within the managerial ranks.
The report said the NBA leads the way in diversity, but other pro and college leagues lag far behind. However, it is unclear how important this issue is to the players — and to future generations.
The fact that many families don’t care what color their coach may be is a good thing — it should only matter how good a coach, and person, he is. At the same time, there is clearly a disconnect between the racial diversity of those playing the game and those charged with coaching the game.
As stated earlier, there really is no right or wrong answer if the question is asking what we, as a society, should do about the lack of diversity in coaching.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor