Fritz Pollard Alliance: The time for progress is now

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This week, six coaches were fired. Two of the six are Black. With only three Black coaches before this week, that has caught the attention of many, including the group responsible for promoting the hiring and retention of minority coaches and executives.

“The recent dismissals of Brian Flores and David Culley is a disappointment given efforts to increase the representation of Black coaches as Head Coaches in the NFL,” Rod Graves, executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, said in a statement issued on Friday afternoon. “The fact that we stand today with only one Black Head Coach makes clear that the current system does not provide a sustainable pathway for the growth in numbers of minorities as Head Coaches.

“For many, the time for progress is now. With eleven openings, the NFL has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to diversity of leadership. We hope that our increased involvement as partners with the NFL will have an immediate and long-term impact on the system of hiring and evaluating leadership performance.”

The eleven openings are eight coaches and three General Managers. For now, it appears that teams are engaging in thorough searches that comply with the letter and spirit of the Rooney Rule.

Ultimately, that often doesn’t matter. Teams will hire who they want to hire. As one source with knowledge of past hiring process estimated earlier today to PFT, owners know roughly 70 to 80 percent of the time upon firing a coach the identity of his replacement.

This year, it may be different. This year, it seems as if teams are entering the process without a clear ending point and working backward. Whether that results a real uptick in diverse hiring practices remains to be seen.

54 responses to “Fritz Pollard Alliance: The time for progress is now

  1. 58% of NFL players are black. 3% of NFL head coaches are black. That just doesn’t add up. Hopefully that number goes way up.

  2. So what you’re saying is that race should be a consideration when it comes to hiring a coach? How about just hiring the guy that gives your team the best chance of winning without considering race?

  3. How about the person that is the most qualified gets the job, regardless of race. It really is that simple.

  4. Ok just stop. The NFL is a win now league. If an owner thinks a coach can help his team win he is going to hire them regardless of skin color.

  5. This is 2022 in the woke NFL. I seriously doubt that the owners embrace a prejudicial attitude when it comes to coaching and front office personnel.

    Owners want the best for their team and franchise. To do that, the owners need and want to hire the best people regardless of racial overtones.

  6. baldbuc says:
    January 14, 2022 at 3:46 pm
    So what you’re saying is that race should be a consideration when it comes to hiring a coach? How about just hiring the guy that gives your team the best chance of winning without considering race?

    wttoolman says:
    January 14, 2022 at 3:48 pm
    How about the person that is the most qualified gets the job, regardless of race. It really is that simple.
    _________

    The problem with these opinions is that Blacks were denied the opportunity to be head coaches and GMs for decades. The most qualified person was denied the job if that person was Black. The fact that there is currently only one Black head coach proves that race is still a factor in excluding people of color.

    65 6

  7. Does the FPA only care about head coaches and only about Black’s specifically? That doesn’t seem like advocating for diversity, that seems like race based discrimination.

    They obviously don’t care about actual total diversity in the NFL. How many Asian, Hispanic, or White cornerbacks are in the NFL? What about women? LGBTQ+?

    If I can be an aging white guy who doesn’t give a crap what color you are, who you sleep with, or what gender you are, why can’t an organization supposedly concerned only about diversity.

  8. firerogergoodell says:
    January 14, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    58% of NFL players are black. 3% of NFL head coaches are black. That just doesn’t add up. Hopefully that number goes way up.

    ———————————————————————————

    The players and coaches don’t come from the same pool. Very few head coaches played in the NFL. That includes Mike Tomlin, the only remaining black coach. Most every NFL head coach did play college football. The percentage of black players in college football is much lower than 58%.

  9. It’s time for these guys to go away permanently. This isn’t the 1950’s and they are no longer needed. We have progressed as a society and it’s groups like this that now hold us back.

  10. I have said for years that the Rooney rule and the push to make race a factor in coach hiring decisions actually leads to fewer minority coaches. The reason is that even though there isn’t a quota or more aggressive pressure, there is enough indirect pressure that it forces teams to at least consider race in their candidate pools. This can’t even happen subconsciously. Once you start evaluating factors other than merit, the quality of the overall candidate pool is diminished. Teams are therefore statistically more likely to hire a guy who isn’t up to the job. The result? More minority coaches being fired because they aren’t getting the job done.

  11. Few NFL head coaches have any NFL playing experience. Mike Vrabel is the only current one with a Pro Bowl appearance. The ability to play football at a high level and the ability to coach it have very little, if any, correlation.

  12. gibson45 says:

    The problem with these opinions is that Blacks were denied the opportunity to be head coaches and GMs for decades. The most qualified person was denied the job if that person was Black. The fact that there is currently only one Black head coach proves that race is still a factor in excluding people of color.

    +++

    How in the world do you know this? Who were these coaches? If that were true, it WOULD be outrageous.

    Prove it. Seriously. How do you know this?

  13. Last I heard, there’s 8 HC jobs up for grabs. Seems awfully premature to complain about diversity hiring practices before any open job has even been filled yet.

  14. The FPA is also probably in favor of the race-based distribution of Covid vaccines and boosters.

  15. firerogergoodell says:
    January 14, 2022 at 3:34 pm
    58% of NFL players are black. 3% of NFL head coaches are black. That just doesn’t add up. Hopefully that number goes way up.

    ——-

    You’re right, it doesn’t add up. Mostly because your math is wrong. 32 jobs aren’t filled yet. 1/32 would be 3%. Currently 3 HC jobs are held by minority coaches (Tomlin, Rivera, Saleh), or 12.5% of all filled HC jobs.

  16. FPA your better off to go help AB with his maturity issues, who needs it more. The coaches who got fired will find another job in the NFL, hopefully Brian Flores will get a HC position before the 2022 season.

  17. So tired of the FPA. This is the NFL, they will employ anyone, regardless of character, if it will help them win. This isn’t the 1950’s where there’s a sign on the door saying “whites only”. It’s just not an issue anymore. In fact, judging pretty much every entertainer who sings the anthem or plays the halftime show it’s pretty clear white people are the NFL’s least favorite race.

  18. The NFL is 78% black and the complainin’ still continues. It is time for all black and all white leagues to end the moaning.

  19. The late Al Davis always hired who he thought was the best person for the job, regardless. He hired the first Hispanic coach, Tom Flores. First black Coach, Art Shell. First female president, Amy Trask. His son Mark Davis hired the first black General Manager, Reggie McKenzie. Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden hired the first openly gay player, Carl Nassib. The Raiders don’t need to be told what to do. They always do the right thing. But now it looks like Rich Bisaccia is the best person for their coaching job, and he’s a white guy. Should the Raiders continue to hire the best person for the job? They certainly don’t have to answer to anyone when it comes to this subject. They wrote the book.

  20. Bet all the no-needle, religious exemption filler-outer, living room anthem standers of PFT will be in support of minority head coaches, right?

  21. babo123 says:
    January 14, 2022 at 5:19 pm
    gibson45 says:

    The problem with these opinions is that Blacks were denied the opportunity to be head coaches and GMs for decades. The most qualified person was denied the job if that person was Black. The fact that there is currently only one Black head coach proves that race is still a factor in excluding people of color.

    +++

    How in the world do you know this? Who were these coaches? If that were true, it WOULD be outrageous.

    Prove it. Seriously. How do you know this?
    ____________

    Are you seriously contending that Blacks were not denied these opportunities for decades? Are you denying that there is currently only one Black coach?

  22. “The problem with these opinions is that Blacks were denied the opportunity to be head coaches and GMs for decades. The most qualified person was denied the job if that person was Black. The fact that there is currently only one Black head coach proves that race is still a factor in excluding people of color.” What a joke. Funniest part is you actually believe this.

  23. 25 percent of NFL players are white. Without fail, if asked, the answer of why the majority of players are black would be because we put the best players on the field. If that works for the players, why isn’t that same answer good enough for why a coach is a coach? But nope, if a certain numbers of coaches are not of a certain ethnicity, its racism.

  24. charliecharger says:
    January 14, 2022 at 5:54 pm
    The late Al Davis always hired who he thought was the best person for the job, regardless. He hired the first Hispanic coach, Tom Flores. First black Coach, Art Shell. First female president, Amy Trask. His son Mark Davis hired the first black General Manager, Reggie McKenzie. Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden hired the first openly gay player, Carl Nassib. The Raiders don’t need to be told what to do. They always do the right thing. But now it looks like Rich Bisaccia is the best person for their coaching job, and he’s a white guy. Should the Raiders continue to hire the best person for the job? They certainly don’t have to answer to anyone when it comes to this subject. They wrote the book.

    ——-

    Reggie McKenzie was NOT the first black GM. Ozzie Newsome was. There were a lot of black GMs hired before Reggie McKenzie. Newsome, Rick Smith, Martin Mayhew, Jerry Reese, all hired before McKenzie.

  25. gibson45 says:

    Are you seriously contending that Blacks were not denied these opportunities for decades? Are you denying that there is currently only one Black coach?

    +++

    LOL! I’m not denying anything! I asked you to prove that asinine statement! And I’m still waiting!

    There have been plenty of good minority coaches over the years and I’m willing to bet there will be again this year! Flores will likely get one of these eight jobs, and I’m willing to bet Todd Bowles will be the next head coach in Tampa, when Arians retires. I’d hire Byron Leftwich right freaking now.

    YOU made the statement that black coaches that should have been head coaches were passed over because of their skin color. PROVE IT.

  26. 70% of the players in the NFL are African Americans… HOW MUCH change do you want? Should the players now need diversity? Wouldn’t that be hypocritical to not state that players are not diverse? As a black man, even I see the rabbit hole we are currently in. Smh

  27. As another thought, what organization has created the most black millionaires in the world? The NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, the UN, the UNCF, or the HBCUs?

    Nope, it was those darned racist NFL oligarchs.

  28. When you have to lurch to race to make you a quality candidate in a sport based on ability and success, you have lost the argument.

    Through these comments those leaning on race have yet to make a cogent rational argument. Instead its deflection, emotion and just made up stuff.

    Flores would still have a job if he wasn’t such a childish man.

  29. when this nation was founded, Blacks were not even considered human, and had no participation in anything other than being enslaved. So stop with the “Life is Fair” crap. Thats either child-like naivete’ or flat out BS.

  30. “when this nation was founded, Blacks were not even considered human, and had no participation in anything other than being enslaved. So stop with the “Life is Fair” crap. Thats either child-like naivete’ or flat out BS.” Remind us all again who owned and or sold the first slaves? I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t the big bad white man.

  31. +++

    How in the world do you know this? Who were these coaches? If that were true, it WOULD be outrageous.

    Prove it. Seriously. How do you know this?
    ____________

    Gibson

    Are you seriously contending that Blacks were not denied these opportunities for decades? Are you denying that there is currently only one Black coach?

    ***

    Are you contending that the minorities that were fired, only were fired to because they were black?

    I got a better idea. How about you wait until every job is filled, the numbers are incomplete at best. Like last year and the year before that.

    Being fired and not hired would be hard to do

  32. Arguing about who was the 1st to own slaves, is another whattaboutism – Proud Boys talking point. It doesn’t matter who owned slaves 1st, 2nd, 12th or 155th. When our constitution was drafted, the slave-owning founding fathers did not write in any rights for blacks. Blacks were considered property, not citizens. So stop with the “Life is fair and everyone gets what they deserve based on hard work” fantasy. I just saw that Nathanial Hacket was hired in the NFL. Coincedently, his father is long time OC Paul Hackett. But thats just a coincidence, Nathaniel really was the best man for the job (wink).

  33. gibson45 says:

    The problem with these opinions is that Blacks were denied the opportunity to be head coaches and GMs for decades. The most qualified person was denied the job if that person was Black. The fact that there is currently only one Black head coach proves that race is still a factor in excluding people of color.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Race is still a factor… never mind that 3/4 of NFL players are minorities. Yup, all about race. Perhaps if the GM tells you to fire your OC, because he had the worst offense in the NFL and you refuse, resulting in your termination- yep. It had to be about race. What about a white HC being fired after three seasons that ended in a 7-9 record. Then his replacement (after three seasons) goes 9-8, but was 8-8 after 16 games resulting in him being fired. Yup, had to be because he was black. Most qualified? Have you ever had a job interview in your life? Being qualified is only part of the equation. I’m sure you think someone like Eric Bieniemy is most qualified too. You know, a OC for a high powered and successful offense- that does zero play calling.

  34. I wasn’t aware of the ethnicity of Culley or Flores as they’re very out of market for me. Knowing what little i do know about their teams, I thought they did a bang up job.

  35. firerogergoodell says:
    January 14, 2022 at 3:34 pm
    58% of NFL players are black. 3% of NFL head coaches are black. That just doesn’t add up. Hopefully that number goes way up. I agree we need more white players and black coaches.

  36. rugz31 says:
    January 14, 2022 at 6:11 pm
    charliecharger says:
    January 14, 2022 at 5:54 pm
    The late Al Davis always hired who he thought was the best person for the job, regardless. He hired the first Hispanic coach, Tom Flores. First black Coach, Art Shell. First female president, Amy Trask. His son Mark Davis hired the first black General Manager, Reggie McKenzie. Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden hired the first openly gay player, Carl Nassib. The Raiders don’t need to be told what to do. They always do the right thing. But now it looks like Rich Bisaccia is the best person for their coaching job, and he’s a white guy. Should the Raiders continue to hire the best person for the job? They certainly don’t have to answer to anyone when it comes to this subject. They wrote the book.

    ——-

    Reggie McKenzie was NOT the first black GM. Ozzie Newsome was. There were a lot of black GMs hired before Reggie McKenzie. Newsome, Rick Smith, Martin Mayhew, Jerry Reese, all hired before McKenzie.

    *******************************************

    Thanks for fact checking. But you missed one. Fritz Pollard was the first black coach. Hey, it’s post-truth America. Facts and truth don’t matter no more. Lol.

  37. So here is the solution, hear me out….

    NFL Coaching and GM jobs go through the same system as a normal job from now on. Instead of an owner fixating on a candidate, already convincing himself before he fires his current HC that all his woes will be over if he gets that one guy it is done differently.

    Round 1 he tells an independent committee the things he is looking for in a HC. They have a database of every former HC and every assistant in the NFL listing what their system would be, how they would run a team ect. Said committee hands a list of 5 candidates matching what the team wants.

    Round 2 those 5 players all answer the same list of questions asking what their system is, how they would run their system, how players on said team fit into their system, what are the resume and credentials of their assistants ect. Out of that list two candidates are chosen and go onto round 3 which is the in person interview.

  38. onewarriornation says:
    January 14, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    So here is the solution, hear me out….

    NFL Coaching and GM jobs go through the same system as a normal job from now on. Instead of an owner fixating on a candidate, already convincing himself before he fires his current HC that all his woes will be over if he gets that one guy it is done differently.

    Round 1 he tells an independent committee the things he is looking for in a HC. They have a database of every former HC and every assistant in the NFL listing what their system would be, how they would run a team ect. Said committee hands a list of 5 candidates matching what the team wants.

    Round 2 those 5 players all answer the same list of questions asking what their system is, how they would run their system, how players on said team fit into their system, what are the resume and credentials of their assistants ect. Out of that list two candidates are chosen and go onto round 3 which is the in person interview.

    —————————————————————————–

    You lost me when you followed up “same system as a normal job” with “independent committee”.

  39. “bsandersupthesidelinecutsbackinside says: I just saw that Nathanial Hacket was hired in the NFL. Coincidently, his father is long time OC Paul Hackett. But that’s just a coincidence, Nathaniel really was the best man for the job (wink).”

    Uhhhhhh Hacket has been the GB OC since 2019 and prior to that he had 6 years of NFL Coaching experience as well as several years of College coaching experience. Wink.. Wink

  40. Annnnnd this is the perfect cancer in this country known as “blanketed racism” where a person or persons is trying to say their doing something not racist which is indeed RACIST. Skin color doesn’t matter, if you’re not getting results you deserve to be replaced period.

  41. Joe Judge
    Dan Campbell
    Urban Meyer
    Arthur Smith
    Mike Zimmer
    Jim Caldwell

    Can I get someone to rank the current or former coaches on this list 1-6?

    Can we base it on there resume, and winning %?

  42. Maybe the FPA could explain how hiring a black coach, apparently any black coach will do, will help an NFL franchise win. FPA should focus on colleges and universities if it really cares about getting more black coaches.

  43. This isn’t working because it is a flawed process. If black coaches are qualified, they’ll be hired. Yes, they should have every opportunity but let’s not try to act like they aren’t trying to push unqualified individuals into these coaching opportunities.

  44. Guidelines for interviewing or hiring are useful
    Guidelines for firing are stupid and counterproductive.

  45. vrod2004 says:
    January 14, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Joe Judge
    Dan Campbell
    Urban Meyer
    Arthur Smith
    Mike Zimmer
    Jim Caldwell

    Can I get someone to rank the current or former coaches on this list 1-6?

    Can we base it on there resume, and winning %?

    ————————————————————————

    Here’s my take:

    1. Mike Zimmer
    2. Jim Caldwell
    3. Dan Campbell
    4. Arthur Smith
    5. Joe Judge
    6. Urban Meyer

  46. Flores will be hired immediately. But where’s the outcry for Asian, Native American, Latino coaches? Organizations like this are inherently racist and what perpetuates racism, by making it all about one race. If an organization promoting white players in the nfl or particularly the nba were developed they’d be immediately labeled white extremist Trump supporters.

  47. Culley was considered by many a stop-gap hire for the Texans since they were such a dumpster fire. Surprisingly they didn’t do too badly considering they looked like an expansion team on paper. I think he made enough strides to warrant to be kept on, but the plan was likely always a one year measure and he got paid handsomely.

    Flores was a coach who did not warrant getting fired imo. But lost a power struggle to a Black (since race is the “issue”) GM in Chris Grier who shouldve been the one who got canned. But that would stir up this issue again. I wish they looked into these things more holistically instead of every time there’s a firing bringing this idea of discrimination, Flores will likely be rehired in this cycle.

  48. babo123 says:
    January 14, 2022 at 6:12 pm
    gibson45 says:

    Are you seriously contending that Blacks were not denied these opportunities for decades? Are you denying that there is currently only one Black coach?

    +++

    LOL! I’m not denying anything! I asked you to prove that asinine statement! And I’m still waiting!

    There have been plenty of good minority coaches over the years and I’m willing to bet there will be again this year! Flores will likely get one of these eight jobs, and I’m willing to bet Todd Bowles will be the next head coach in Tampa, when Arians retires. I’d hire Byron Leftwich right freaking now.

    YOU made the statement that black coaches that should have been head coaches were passed over because of their skin color. PROVE IT.
    ___________

    There was not a Black head coach in the modern era until 1989 (Art Shell). Again, are you seriously trying to say that there were no African-Americans who were qualified to be head coaches prior to 1989?

    We are now in 2022 and have only one Black head coach. There has not been much progress in the past 33 years.

  49. gibson45 says:

    We are now in 2022 and have only one Black head coach. There has not been much progress in the past 33 years.

    +++++

    In 2017 there were SEVEN Black NFL head coaches. So I disagree with you (like normal).

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