This week, the NFL’s spring meetings are happening in the same city — Atlanta — in which the league tried to throw a sham of a “workout” for Colin Kaepernick just three years ago.
Funny how things work out that way.
With Brian Flores’ lawsuit now having backup with the additions of Steve Wilks and Ray Horton, the NFL is scrambling like Lamar Jackson in effort to make it seem like the class-action lawsuit that’s been brought against them isn’t as evident as we all know it is.
On Monday and Tuesday, Eric Bieniemy, Byron Leftwich, and a whole bunch of other overqualified Black coaches were sitting in a room somewhere in front of some white general manager or team owner that’s never heard their names before or ever given their resumes a second look, all because they’d rather have some guy who resembles the pro shop manager at their country club coach their team instead of the men who deserve it. It’s all part of the NFL’s inaugural accelerator program that is supposedly going to “promote greater coach and C-suite level diversity among clubs.”
“The program will provide senior women and minority prospects with leadership development sessions with football operations experts and facilitators, as well as time spent networking directly with club owners. The effort is designed to continue building a diverse hiring pipeline for future head coach and general manager positions throughout the League,” reads the press release from the NFL.
Ironically, just four years ago, on this very week, the NFL announced its ill-fated anthem policy at these same meetings in this same city. For some reason, this league keeps making dumb decisions when it comes to Black people every time they have meetings in arguably the Blackest city in America. In the summer of 2019, the NFL hooked up with the Black College Football Hall of Fame to host its inaugural QB Coaching summit in Atlanta, as then-Baltimore Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome told a room full of Black coaches and the media that he, as one of the few Black GMs in NFL history, had no idea that Black coaches wanted to coach offense.
“This book and these names will go back to Baltimore,” said Newsome as he held up a program that included all of the attendees. “I didn’t know that it was this many African-Americans that were involved in coaching quarterbacks, and offensive coordinators on the college level. Now I do, and now I can act on it.”
“Now I have me a bible that I can use.”
If that wasn’t sad enough, you know this program isn’t going to do what’s intended to do because Roger Goodell is already claiming that it will succeed.
“The NFL is committed to diversity and inclusion, and this program is the latest in a series of steps designed to improve our hiring practices and create opportunities for advancement,” said the Commissioner. “The program helps ensure that clubs receive exposure to high-performing, up-and-coming NFL talent and candidates get a chance to learn the business on a working level from team owners and executives.”
Never forget that the NFL already has a diversity coaching fellowship setup. It’s named after Bill Walsh, a white dude.