Skip to content

De Smith curious to hear more from NFL, coaches association on diversity

DeMaurice Smith AP

On Friday, the NFL admitted disappointment regarding the failure of any teams to hire minority candidates for any of the eight head-coaching and seven G.M.-level jobs.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith is curious to hear more from the league, and from the NFL Coaches Association.

“It is appropriate given that we are coming up on the weekend of Martin Luther King’s remembrance to know and recognize that we still have work to do on the issue of increasing the diversity in the National Football League among the head coaches,” Smith said, via an extension of the NFLPA’s official website.  “I saw the league’s statement [Friday] about how they were disappointed or that they felt the results of the head coaching hires were somewhat unexpected on the level of diversity.  My first question is I would be interested in knowing what they expected.”

That’s a great question.  What level of minority hiring would have transformed the NFL’s disappointment to satisfaction?

“I know the players of the National Football League expect a system that is fair,” Smith added.  “The Rooney Rule was instituted with the idea of at least putting forth good quality coaches and mandating that those teams interview them.  I know that as the days and months go by, especially heading into Super Bowl, we’re interested in hearing from the league what they intend to do to ensure that everyone is committed to hiring the best candidates and I am certainly interested in hearing from the Coaches Association on their thoughts.  I would have expected something from them by now.”

The reference to the NFL Coaches Association wasn’t an accident.  The two groups currently are involved in litigation, and there’s a contentious relationship between Smith and NFLCA executive director David Cornwell.  If it appears that Smith was calling out Cornwell and the NFLCA, that interpretation would be accurate.

We’ve asked Cornwell for a comment on behalf of the NFLCA.  But the Coaches Association may not be the right group to push the issue; there are only 32 head-coaching jobs and the various members of the NFLCA are, in theory, competing to acquire or keep those positions.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance has been advocating for coaching diversity, and on Friday executive director John Wooten expressed extreme disappointment regarding recent hiring trends.

Though some fans believe (zealously) that owners should be able to hire whoever they want to hire and that the Rooney Rule along with any other measures aimed at promoting diversity should be abandoned, the NFL, the NFLPA, and the Fritz Pollard Alliance agree that improvement is needed.  The question moving forward is what can and should be done to get there.

Permalink 36 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill
36 Responses to “De Smith curious to hear more from NFL, coaches association on diversity”
  1. walker615 says: Jan 19, 2013 6:38 PM

    “Though some fans believe that owners should be able to hire whoever they want to hire…”

    Some people DON’T believe this???

    “Improvement is needed”?

    What do you suggest? Assigning minority coaches to teams on a lottery basis?

    This is utter insanity. And racism.

  2. tyler4richardson says: Jan 19, 2013 6:42 PM

    Affirmative action or affirmative force? I wonder if the NFL has a similar rule in place when it comes to hiring a new executive to work at the league offices.

  3. coltzfan166 says: Jan 19, 2013 6:42 PM

    This isn’t good. I definitely believe Lovie Smith will be a hot coaching candidate next offseason, but now teams are going to feel like they have to hire minorities due to pressure from the NFL, even if they don’t feel like he gives the team the best chance to win.

  4. illwillthemick says: Jan 19, 2013 6:43 PM

    You can not force diversity. You would think a smart guy like de smith would understand that.

  5. FinFan68 says: Jan 19, 2013 6:43 PM

    MLK’s message was not about diversity. It was about removing skin color from the determining factors in life. The Rooney rule, affirmative action and those people who choose to compare races in any endeavor are actually going against his basic message. It’s ironic how the EOT folks all claim that placing people into “boxes” based on race, gender, age or sexuality is simply wrong yet the first thing they all do to try to prove a point or agenda is to break all people into demographic categories based on those same variables traits.

  6. macdaddyspeed says: Jan 19, 2013 6:44 PM

    …and I just want to watch football.

  7. Canyonero says: Jan 19, 2013 6:45 PM

    Isn’t that kind of outside his jurisdiction?

  8. natefalkirk says: Jan 19, 2013 6:48 PM

    “The question moving forward is what can and should be done to get there.”

    Nothing. Owners will hire whomever they think gives them the best chance to win. Economics drives this. Losing teams lose fans. Losing teams don’t sell merchandise. Losing teams don’t generate the impetus for new stadiums.

    Good intenetions aside, rules dictating who gets interviewed only create token interviews. The intended hire will still get the job, usually.

    What is the standard that will satisfy the diversity police? 50% of all head coaches hired minorities? And I assume the “disappointment” refers to not enough African American coaches….where are the Asian coaches? Pacific Islanders? Native Americans? Or are we picking and choosing our minorities?

  9. thesportsguy52 says: Jan 19, 2013 6:51 PM

    Those fans who believe that, zealously, are 99% of the time “conservative” hateful rednecks. No good ol boy, huntin buddy, elbow tapping should be going near the NFL, which by the way has prove over the years that African Americans are just as if not MORE successful at coaching in the pros. Oh, and white boy talking here, so don’t infer racism.

  10. seanb20124 says: Jan 19, 2013 6:51 PM

    Can a lawsuit be filed? No complaints about women not getting hired??

  11. illwillthemick says: Jan 19, 2013 6:54 PM

    you guys need to switch the disqus comment system so we can actually reply to comments without refreshing the page, and not get 100 emails everytime someone leaves one comment

  12. bigbluefan11 says: Jan 19, 2013 7:02 PM

    Rather than whining about the process and unfair hiring practices, why don’t some of these individuals take a proactive approach and find out what’s going wrong in the interviews. NFL Owners, GMs, and Coaches, of all races want to win. Minority candidates are getting interviews and not jobs. Perhaps it’s an presentation issue and not a race issue?

    Lovie Smith is a brilliant defensive mind. He doesn’t pay enough attention to the offense. Maybe he was asked about that and didn’t have a reasonable answer prepared.

  13. Pimpin' aint easy unless you are Chuck Norris says: Jan 19, 2013 7:13 PM

    Not to seem racist or insensitive, but isn’t it possible that the most qualified candidates got hired? This is such a foolish argument/discussion. When are we going to hire more women coaches? When are we going to hire more Hispanic coaches? Etc. it is a stupid question. When 95% of the coaches are white, I am thinking 95% of the hirings will be white. What’s next, we need more black kickers/punters, and more white running backs/receivers? The best of the profession will rise to the top, you can’t just will the minority candidates to the top. Just saying

  14. melikefootball says: Jan 19, 2013 7:14 PM

    Why is it when things don’t fit the norm of Mr Smith, it becomes a diversity issue which in plain words mean a racial issue that he does not like. This becomes one sided and is never an issue as long as men of color gets the jobs. I find it dissapointing that there are not more Asian QB’s, now how about supporting some diversity talk there Mr Smith.

  15. fonetiklee says: Jan 19, 2013 7:19 PM

    I’ll be interested to see more teams sign a higher number of white players in the future. The lack of diversity on the field is disappointing.

    No? What’s that? The teams are only obligated to hire players based on individual merit? Then why the hell is it any different for coaches?

  16. smokingconch says: Jan 19, 2013 7:20 PM

    I think the NFL needs more white corner backs. We should force every team to have at least one CB. Do you see how ridiculous and racist this is? The best candidate shoukd receive the job regardless of race and Florio, you shouldnt be fence sitting either. Did you hire your writers on race or ability? And how would you react to being forced to hire a less qualified writer based on race?

  17. vottorific says: Jan 19, 2013 7:27 PM

    Are Cincinnati and Minnisota the only two teams in the NFL with black head coaches?

  18. edrahrig says: Jan 19, 2013 7:35 PM

    In order for true diversity to permeate the NFL, teams should be forced to hire minority candidates. Of the four primary positions of responsibility for a football team (e.g. general manager, head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator), at least two of the four should be a minority. If the current team does not have at least two minorities in the positions, new hires must be a minority until the 50% mark is reached. It may take a few years for some of the more stable teams to come into compliance, but eventually they will.

  19. nflovercollegefb says: Jan 19, 2013 7:36 PM

    Great things can be accomplished through UNITY.

    Nothing great has ever been accomplished because of DIVERSITY but more in spite of it.

    So long as fairness is in play then that’s all that matters, what next? a quota on the league having X number of minority coaches? what exactly does that prove in the grand scheme of things?

    Maybe NFL owners don’t want a coach who neglected his offense for many years (Lovie) nor do they want someone with Cornrows representing their organization (Ray Horton), who else is out there that’s done anything of merit? Mike Singletary? Puh-leze!

    Texas A&M gave rising star HC Kevin Sumlin a raise to keep the NFL at bay, for at least another year or two.

    These so called “Minority leaders” need to get over “it” and themselves, period.

  20. cannonballdookie says: Jan 19, 2013 8:05 PM

    edrahrig says: Jan 19, 2013 7:35 PM

    In order for true diversity to permeate the NFL, teams should be forced to hire minority candidates. Of the four primary positions of responsibility for a football team (e.g. general manager, head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator), at least two of the four should be a minority. If the current team does not have at least two minorities in the positions, new hires must be a minority until the 50% mark is reached. It may take a few years for some of the more stable teams to come into compliance, but eventually they will.
    ————————————

    If you’re actually serious, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  21. bbrophy1 says: Jan 19, 2013 8:12 PM

    “Diversity? I believe that’s an old old wooden ship from the civil war era” — Woody Johnson

  22. enders9 says: Jan 19, 2013 8:14 PM

    This is stupid. Owners are going to hire who they feel is the best candidate for the job, regardless of race.

    While we’re at it, let’s start forcing teams to require having a white RB on the team, I mean there isn’t much diversity at the RB position right now. Peyton Hillis is the only white RB I can name off the top of my head.

  23. blackngold4life says: Jan 19, 2013 8:15 PM

    What else can you do?? Make um hire coaches just because of their ethnic background?? That’s stupid..

  24. bamabengal says: Jan 19, 2013 8:25 PM

    There is not a single white cornerback in the entire NFL. Why aren’t these various groups screaming about that. What if every team had to have particular amount of diversity on the playing field at any given time. Imagine the refs throwing a flag for too many Samoans on the field.

  25. icewalker946 says: Jan 19, 2013 8:38 PM

    vottorific says: Jan 19, 2013 7:27 PM

    Are Cincinnati and Minnisota the only two teams in the NFL with black head coaches?
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    You forgot Pittsburgh.

  26. childoftheking7 says: Jan 19, 2013 8:40 PM

    It’s just a matter of white owners saying black men can run, jump, catch, tackle, and the like, however, when it comes to management, supervision, and basically anything cerebral,anything that’s requires leadership OFF the field, anything that does not involve your physical strength and/or speed, you’re simply unqualified. In fact, I would rather take an unproven white college coach who has done absolutely nothing in the NFL over a seasoned black coach that has a winning record, has been to the Super Bowl, and whose players love him.

    However, they have a right to be racist.

  27. derekjetersmansion says: Jan 19, 2013 8:55 PM

    The answer is there aren’t enough guys to interview anymore.

    No one is going to hire Bowles for a couple years after the fiasco in Philly. Horton’s team had zero offense so they hired a O guy. Lovie only wants to be a head coach.

    I would like to see more diversity, but there are only so many black coaches.

  28. juice997 says: Jan 19, 2013 8:57 PM

    I am an American who happens to be black. I watch the NFL because I like the game and I cheer for my team because I want them to win. The race of a head coach or GM is of no importance to me. Just hire the best people who can generate wins. In my humble opinion it is not the NFL’s responsibility to engage in nor is it advisable to engage in social engineering as that has produced and will continue to produce more ethnic strife. Furthermore, this is America and the owners have the right to hire whom they believe will give them the best chance to succeed. This is a right that I would demand for myself.

  29. bamj6 says: Jan 19, 2013 9:12 PM

    I think there will be minority hires in the next offseason, at minimum because the people who do the hiring don’t want a worst backlash of what’s happened the last few days.

  30. mjkelly77 says: Jan 19, 2013 9:12 PM

    I can see it now. A mandate that the NFL hire 8 minority head coaches. Then all the teams will draw straws to see who gets them. That should encourage a lot of good will regarding minority hiring.

  31. finsphan says: Jan 19, 2013 9:26 PM

    amazing, 72% of the players are black, how many white/ Asian/ Hispanic players have been passed over because coaches think black players would be better because of their color…I don’t recall de smith fighting for more races at wr, rb or db’s. this whole discussion is racist and being a Hispanic man, if I got offered a job just because of my race and someone was forced to hire me because of it I would not take it, I want to earn my way in.

  32. hammrd says: Jan 19, 2013 10:34 PM

    There is plenty of diversity in the NFL. It just so happens that the majority of it is on the field. Not everyone wants to be a head coach…regardless of ethnic background. It’s an exhausting job, it’s hard on families, and there’s no such thing as job security. A lot of guys are perfectly happy being assistants where they don’t have to deal with the media and the scrutiny that head coaches and coordinators do.

    A mandate like this is NOT what America is about. Diversity settles itself over time. Fifty years ago Major League Baseball was 100% white. Now look at it…whites, blacks, Asians, Latinos all working together for a common goal. That is American!!

  33. kacapaco says: Jan 19, 2013 10:39 PM

    This a.hole also want to have a power on coaching issues. Tell him to go to hell.

  34. uglytrog says: Jan 20, 2013 6:32 AM

    I’d like to hear De Smith and Tony Dungy comment about the lack of White players in the NFL. What’s the League going to remedy that lack of Diversity?

  35. punish22 says: Jan 20, 2013 6:58 AM

    I am German. I’m disappointed that there are a lack of German coaches! Please change the rules so that we have more German coaches. Thanks!

    Shoe-la knows all!

  36. j0esixpack says: Jan 20, 2013 8:56 AM

    … And as a proud Antarctic American I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that there are NO Antarctican coaches In the game.

    GMs interested in achieving their quota and appeasing Roger Goodell may contact me through this blog

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!