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Does Color Matter?
Posted By ChiefsWarpath.com On January 21, 2006 @ 10:51 pm In Commentary | Comments Disabled
Once again, with the inevitable coaching carousel, come the inevitable questions and comments concerning minority coaching in the NFL and, naturally, in other levels of sports as well. Of course, this is just a natural extension of the emphasis placed on color in society in general, an emphasis which is misguided and unnecessary.
When color is what becomes the main focus or determining characteristic of an individual, then we run the possibility of overlooking other attributes of that individual–whether they be positive or negative. For example, the Rooney Rule which states that a certain number of minority coaching candidates must be interviewed for a coaching vacancy.
Is a coach going to be interviewed just because he is a certain color? Is a coach going to be interviewed based solely on outward appearance? It really shouldn’t matter what color the coach is–the only color I care about is Red and Gold and can the person coach.
The Arkansas Razorbacks, my only other loyalty besides the Chiefs, went through a ridiculous and completely unnecessary lawsuit in the past few years over a basketball coach who was fired and insisted on making his race the central factor in everything. He was fired after years of statements and actions which eventually made his firing inevitable. The coach then filed a racial discrimination suit against the university and everyone involved stating that he was fired because he was black and outspoken and that white coaches were treated better. He seemed to forget that HE was the one who made race the central issue and that four or five football coaches, all white, as well as coaches in other sports, all white as well, had been fired during his tenure as basketball coach.
That is the tricky part when race is made the central issue–is it okay for some people to make race the all important aspect but not others? Personally, this coach should have been fired based on his performance on and off the court, for statements insulting to the loyal fans who made it possible for him to become a millionaire. He was the one who made his color all-important and he came to believe that he could suffer no consequences because he happened to be black. He forgot that people of all races can act like jerks and that stupidity is not race selective.
If a coach is interviewed and hired based primarily on color then are the expectations for that coach different? Is less expected? Is more time given to provide results? Is there a tendency to be more lenient? Is there a hesitancy to treat this coach with the same threat of losing his job because someone will scream racism? Be careful when coming close to quotas–if all is based on population percentages as a whole then a lot of people will be looking at things a bit differently. Are Asians and Hispanics included in this minority grouping? What about Native Americans? Is there a percentage of coaching candidates from those groups which must be included as well? As I stated before, if color is all that determines what you are then maybe you don’t have much to begin with in the first place.
How about looking at it this way–instead of hiring or interviewing a black (or one of the other groups) coach, just hire or interview a coach who happens to be black. Big difference there.
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