First Vice-Presidents And Supreme Court Justices, And Now NFL Offensive Assistant Coaches

The NFL’s near-complete dearth of ethics alarms is approaching comedic levels, if such a thing could be funny. This week the league that makes billions by paying young men to get a brain disease commanded all 32 NFL teams to hire a minority offensive assistant coach for the 2022 season, as, you’ve got it, another phase of the league’s “diversity” efforts.

The coach can be “a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority,” according to the policy adopted by NFL owners during their annual meeting, and will be paid from a league-wide fund. That’s because they will all be tokens, you see, hired for PR purposes and to avoid lawsuits, so they really aren’t team hires. The new minority coaches “must work closely with the head coach and the offensive staff, with the goal of increasing minority participation in the pool of offensive coaches” that eventually produces the most sought-after candidates for head-coaching positions. In other words, they must receive remedial training because they would not have been hired based on their experience or demonstrated skills.

“It’s a recognition that at the moment, when you look at stepping stones for a head coach, they are the coordinator positions,” said Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, the chairman of the NFL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. “We clearly have a trend where coaches are coming from the offensive side of the ball in recent years, and we clearly do not have as many minorities in the offensive coordinator [job].” A quota, he means.

And that’s what counts, not putting the best football team on the field. Or something.

In addition to the offensive assistant coach mandate, the new policies in “diversity” also added women to the language of the Rooney Rule at all levels. It will now read that women and/or people of color can satisfy the old Rooney Rule requirement to interview two external minorities for top positions, including head coach. Women are not required to be interviewed, but they are now included in the fulfillment process. It is possible that a team could interview two white women for an open head coach position to satisfy the Rooney Rule, and then make a hire without ever interviewing a person of color.

Why no “differently-abled” coaches? How about blind coaches? Gay coaches? Mentally ill coaches? Little people. Non-English speakers. Mentally-challenged. Surely a trans assistant coach would be historic. Can Lia Thomas play football?The cynical incoherence and lack of logic in all this is staggering. The reason the relative current dearth of minority head coaches is seen as a problem is because of the disparity between the demographics among players—over 70% are non-white—and the head coaches, of which 27 of 32 are white. So must 70% of coaches be black before there is enough diversity? Or should the 70% minority player ranks be of concern? About 60% of the population are non-Hispanic whites, after all. Looks like disparate impact to me! Meanwhile, there is no disparity between the percentage of women playing NFL football (or even college football) and the number of female coaches and executives: there are no female players at all. Why are female coaches and executives considered necessary minorities to interview or hire?

And what is an “ethnic minority”? There are just 5% Italian Americans in the U.S. population. They are also generally considered white.

In the meantime, every assistant coach position that is awarded to a “minority,” whatever it means, is a job in which a white male, who may have been more qualified, has been actively and openly discriminated against in the quest for “diversity.”

This is because the white males who run the NFL think it’s virtuous to discriminate against white males. After all, the President of the United States says so.

What was it Chief Justice John Roberts wrote? Oh yeah— “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Boy, what’s the matter with that guy?

He must have been hit on the head too many times…


Source: ESPN

14 thoughts on “First Vice-Presidents And Supreme Court Justices, And Now NFL Offensive Assistant Coaches

  1. I lost all respect for the NFL years ago and don’t care if they have dancing dogs filling their coaching positions. From my perspective, if the owners are stupid enough to allow the league to dictate their hiring decisions in that way, then they deserve whatever reductions in competitiveness that occur.

  2. Can’t wait for the hiring of female assistant coaches to be new 1960s “secretary” thing.
    At least that will keep the eye candy once the cheerleaders are either gone, or non-conventionally attractive.
    I hate the phrase “clown world” but it applies here.

  3. Although I agree with most of the sentiment, I should clarify something about this point:

    “In other words, they must receive remedial training because they would not have been hired based on their experience or demonstrated skills.”

    Highly competitive fields such as sports, entertainment, business…–okay, basically all fields on this inhospitable planet–are subject to the Matthew effect: With multiple stages of competition, extra opportunities early on lead to exponentially more opportunities at each subsequent stage, due to the greater experience and exposure attracting more mentors and benefactors.

    If you’ve read Freakonomics, you may be familiar with how hockey players’ birthdays are all around the same time of year. Based on the birthdate cutoffs for when they started school, they would have been the oldest students and therefore the biggest and strongest, and therefore they received preferential treatment from coaches looking to build competitive teams. Each year their greater experience and skill due to the previous year’s preferential treatment led to more preferential treatment, et cetera. These advantages added up over the years until they became professional athletes.

    If we assume that a person’s minority status prevented them from getting any breaks early on, it makes sense that people would want to give them preferential treatment after the fact to make up for it. Those people would not assume that their current lack of skill represents an innate lack of talent.

    As I understand the idea of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (as intended, if not as implemented), if the people running the show are all from the same ethnicity, they may not understand enough about other cultures to make their institutions cater to those people, effectively locking them out. Part of the point of diversity, then, is to make it so there are enough different cultural backgrounds among the people calling the shots so that the institutions they run will cater to all cultures, and so if someone gets no opportunities, it won’t be because of their ethnicity or cultural heritage.

    I can at least respect the idea. I’m not a competitive person, so I don’t have any great insights into how one would make the competitive process more ethical. However, I imagine it would involve identifying and overcoming obstacles to smooth interactions between people of different backgrounds. That should make it easier to judge people based on the criteria of the field itself.

    Does that make more sense?

    • Great post, COTD. Well worth discussing.

      My main problem is that merit-based jobs and other achievements cannot ethically be first handed out and then retroactively qualified for, no matter what the justification.

    • EC
      I can respect the Mathew effect but I am not sure that race or gender are the principle causal forces for lack of opportunities early on. In fact, given the high percentage of minority players I could suggest that it is they who have the earliest opportunities to demonstrate prowess as coaches. Skill sets are not evenly distributed across demographic groups otherwise the player populations would be representative of the general population.
      If the Mathew effect substantiates anything it suggests that people who have not had the benefit of being the first born or first chosen should be given opportunities regardless of race or gender.

      • That’s multiple fair points. If we’re looking to counteract the Matthew Effect, we may as well go all the way and make sure people get equal opportunity to advance regardless of what time of year they’re born. If we start in the early years, there won’t be a need to catch people up later.

        As far as race and gender go, I’m not in a position to argue how and how much they might affect people’s opportunities early in life and cumulatively from then onward. Luckily, that doesn’t matter. All we need to do is make sure that kids do get those opportunities, and then whatever happens next will be up to them.

        Of course, it’s not realistic for kids everywhere to get all the same opportunities, but if we make sure that they learn all the basic mindsets, the opportunities they have where they live will help them develop those mindsets, which they can then apply to other contexts later if they want to.

        How does that sound?

    • “However, I imagine it would involve identifying and overcoming obstacles to smooth interactions between people of different backgrounds.”

      I imagine one obstacle standing in the way of positive interaction between people of different backgrounds might be the resentment caused by forcing people to hire and promote lesser-qualified individuals based on diversity goals… There’s a Catch-22 in there, no?

      Having worked twice in my career with people who were obviously such hires and whose unsuitability for their positions created extra work for everyone else in the department, I have seen firsthand how damaging this can be. The resentment that develops definitely can poison the well of goodwill for an entire demographic. That’s not fair, but it’s a natural and easily predictable human reaction.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that a poorly-thought-out “diversity” policy (and every one I’ve ever seen falls into this category – maybe it’s possible to do such a thing carefully and ethically to avoid such traps, but I haven’t seen it done that way) causes more long-term harm than good.

  4. If the Rooney Rule is being expanded to allow sex consideration as well, then men should be the required interviewees. Males make up 49% of the American population as compared to the female’s 51%. Guys are the gender minority here.

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