The lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores against his team and the NFL has sent shockwaves throughout the sports community, so much so that NBA Hall-of-Famer Chris Bosh said that he will no longer watch NFL games until more black people are hired as head coaches and general managers.
The two-time NBA champion, who split his 13-year-career between the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat, echoed Flores sentiment that the league is purposefully working to ensure that black people are not given equal opportunity to coach (something everyone claims when “equality” is not implemented on their terms).
“Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched the discrimination behind that disparity play out in real time,” Bosh wrote in an article on his website. “I’m happy anytime anyone gets a job, but it sure seems like the white guys are having an easier time becoming head coaches and general managers nowadays, while Black coaches are held to an entirely different standard.”
He also tweeted that he won't tune in for NFL games until this "problem" is fixed:
Watching the way the NFL is treating Black coaches has me pissed off. Plain and simple.— Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) January 31, 2022
Until they fix this, I cannot keep spending my weekends supporting the league.
Now, what is that “different standard?” How are they forced to play by a different set of rules? What policies within the hiring process exist that specifically and concretely highlight how teams are purposefully trying to prevent black people from getting coaching and GM jobs?
We have yet to see any definitive examples of that.
What Flores and Bosh are dissatisfied with is the lack of equal outcome they see in the league, while completely disregarding the fact that the NFL has taken strides to ensure equal opportunity in the hiring process for people of all colors.
In 2003, the NFL implemented the Rooney Rule, which was an attempt to “foster and provide opportunity to diverse leadership throughout the NFL” (note the word “foster,” not “guarantee”). In 2020, the rule evolved to actually incentivize teams that develop coaching talent then those same people earn coaching jobs spots throughout the league (the rewards include draft picks depending on how their prodigies perform). Despite the rule, Flores called it a “well-intentioned failure.”
So the NFL clearly is not racist in their hiring process when they are practically asking for black people to be hired. But even if black people are not hired immediately after a rule change, that’s okay; proving you are worthy of an NFL coaching gig takes years of training and networking that does not happen immediately after a rule change like the one in 2020.
But the question in these situations always comes back to when people will be satisfied by the diversity they see in the NFL. How many black men have to be in head coaching jobs for the NFL to be inclusive? Will black people all of a sudden have value if they are given these “positions of power” in the NFL? And should people be given jobs simply because they look like Bosh and Flores?
These are a set of questions no one seems willing or able to answer. It seems like people who purport these arguments are more about causing trouble than finding solutions.