The NFL has a problem when it comes to the hiring of minority coaches. And the NFL knows it.
But that hasn’t stopped some from issuing blunt reminders to those in charge. Per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll delivered a “passionate speech” regarding the NFL’s struggles with diversity during last week’s league meetings in Florida.
One source said that Carroll’s comments were sufficiently strong to make people in the room uncomfortable to the point of angry. Another source wasn’t sure if the remarks actually did or should have angered those in the room.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam responded to Carroll’s not-so-subtle suggestion that the problem flows from ownership, taking issue with the idea that owners are out of touch when it comes to entrusting key positions to Black candidates. Others have privately pointed out that Carroll doesn’t have a stellar track record when it comes to giving opportunities to minority coaches, with no black offensive coordinators during his 12 seasons at the head coach in Seattle.
Then there’s the issue of nepotism. Carroll has hired two of his children. Those opportunities could have gone to non-family members, and particularly to minority candidates.
Regardless, Carroll stood up to talk about the issue in an open session among teams. The more that coaches and owners talk about the problem in those settings, the more likely that solutions will emerge. Eventually. Inevitably.
Otherwise, the league will continue to experience not only bad P.R. but also potentially sizable liability.