The NFL has a real issue with representation in the head coaching ranks … and Skip Bayless says he knows why — old, white NFL owners just aren’t comfortable socializing with Black coaches and their wives.
“These older white owners just aren’t that comfortable with a Black head coach because they need to interact, they need to go to dinner with the wives or the [significant others] or whatever,” Bayless said on FS1’s “Undisputed” this week while discussing 53-year-old Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy‘s failure to land a gig as HC.
“[White owners are] just not that comfortable. When they do have an interview, it’s gonna be a quicker click with a young white hot candidate.”
Of course, the NFL only has four Black head coaches … Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh, Todd Bowles in Tampa Bay, newly hired DeMeco Ryans in Houston and Mike McDaniel in Miami.
Despite a majority of the players in the league being Black, people of color have long had issues getting hired, especially as head coaches.
The NFL has instituted guidelines like the “Rooney Rule” — dictating front offices must interview a minority candidate before making a hire.
Still, only four of the 32 teams feature a Black man in the top job, and it doesn’t appear change is on the horizon.
As for how to fix the glaring issue, Bayless admits it may not be a repairable problem … ’cause, how do you change how the owners think?
“It’s just culture, it’s just the way life is. And, I don’t know how to defeat it, because each of these guys is an independent owner in the umbrella of the NFL and it’s hard to legislate ‘you must hire a black coach’”
“You can’t unless it’s in the man’s heart to do the right thing, and every once in a while we have the Rooneys in Pittsburgh who did the right thing.”
Skip’s co-host, NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe didn’t appear to take umbrage with anything Bayless said, seemingly nodding his head in agreement as the host laid out the disturbing reasons minorities can’t land a job.