Steve Wilks

Steve Wilks, interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers

Michael Lee of the Washington Post was part of a team that assembled a series of articles detailing the shameful treatment of Black NFL coaches entitled "Blackout."

He recently told Lisa Desjardins on PBS NewsHour that the hiring record is despicable, but so is recent history when it comes to Black coach dismissals.

“Black coaches are most likely to be fired after having success than a white coach,” he said.

“If you are a Black coach who wins nine games, you're just as likely to be fired as a white coach who won six games. And you're also going to be the first one to be dismissed in quicker — in quicker order, in short order.”

In 2011, there were 10 Black coaches, seven full-time and three interims.

“It appeared that the NFL was moving in the right direction. But, in the last decade, things have progressed to the point where now, again, you have a lawsuit in place,” he said.

Lee was referring to former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the franchise and the NFL. Flores won nine games but was dismissed after the 2021 season. He was replaced by Mike McDaniel, who is bi-racial and cherishes it.

David Culley inherited a miserable team Houston Texans team racked by controversy because of the on-going Deshaun Watson sexual misconduct allegations. The Texans went 4-13 in 2021 and Culley was fired after one season.

Next up for the Texans was Lovie Smith. He too was hired to coach a talent-starved team, but his guys never quit, and Houston won its final game to finish with a better record than the Chicago Bears.

The win cost the Texans the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft in April, and it might have cost Smith his job. He, like Culley, was fired after just one season.

Steve Wilks is still interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers. He took over after Matt Rhule, an abject failure, who was fired five games into the season. Wilks closed with a 6-6 record and almost won the NFC South division. 

Wilks deserves the job. I doubt he gets it.

Wilks had his own one-and-done season in 2018 with the Arizona Cardinals. He went 3-13 and was fired to make room for the young genius Kliff Kingsbury and his hand-picked quarterback Kyler Murray. Kingsbury was fired after this season.

Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay’s Todd Bowles are the only NFL’s Black coaches, not counting the interim Wilks.

Tomlin avoided his first losing season by closing 9-8 and is a dean in the league’s coaching ranks. If Bowles turns in another season like 2022, he’ll be fired just as his offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was last week.

To repeat: The NFL has two Black head coaches. This would be inexcusable even if 60% of the NFL’s players were not Black.

The Reid Roundup

DeMeco Ryans has the best chance of landing a head coaching job among several Black candidates. The San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator saw his unit who shut down the vaunted Dallas Cowboys offense last Sunday in a 19-12 divisional playoff win…A GoFundMe page has been established for continued support of the late Ted Savage’s RBI Golf Classic. [Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities.] The page can be found at  https://gf.me/v/c/f9fr/ted-savage... The Arizona Wildcats have hired Charita Stubbs as the next volleyball coach. Stubbs was an assistant for 19 years  for retiring head coach Dave Rubio, She is the program's first Black head coach…Andrew McCutcheon, who had five All-Star seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, signed a one-year $5 million free-agent deal with his former team. “I want to win. Specifically, I want to win here,” he said. I doubt that will happen.

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