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‘Deep-Seated Culture of Exclusion’: Jemele Hill Calls Out the NFL for Lack of Black Coaches

Last week Stephen A. Smith called out the NFL for not having enough head black coaches and now Jemele Hill has done the same thing.

Hill did it in an article she penned for The Atlantic and explained that out of the NFL’s 32 teams, only three of them have head black coaches. There also have been 19 head-coaching positions open in the past three years, but just two black coaches hired within that time, she wrote.

Jemele Hill blasted the NFL for its lack of black head coaches. (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

Five head-coaching jobs were open in recent weeks as well, and only one minority was hired, Ron Rivera, for the Washington Redskins.

Hill addressed the irony of having so many black players in the NFL, but hardly any black coaches.

“More than half the players in the NFL are black, and most coaches have played the game at some level,” she wrote. “That would seem to be the perfect recipe for black coaches to find success. But most NFL owners have been white men, and they have seldom been willing to let African Americans or Latinos call plays — either on the field or from the sidelines.”

“This is no different from when franchises presumed that black players weren’t smart enough to play quarterback and lacked leadership skills to command men,” added Hill. “The league’s paltry record of hiring minority head coaches comes from the same mind-set.”

Some might say the NBA has done a better job of appointing black head coaches, considering the league had a reported 73 black coaches since it began in 1946.

For the 2019-2020 NBA season, out of the 30 teams in the league, there are nine black head coaches, which many said is still incredibly low considering all the black players.

Hill brought up The Rooney Rule as well, which says teams have to interview at least one minority for a head coaching job or an executive role. But she said the rule doesn’t do much good.

“While well intentioned, this policy can’t possibly fix the deep-seated culture of exclusion that plagues the league,” wrote the former ESPN host. “Unfortunately, NFL owners treat white men as their default example of leadership.”

“Even when black coaches follow what appears to be an established blueprint to a head-coaching position, they aren’t guaranteed to be held in the same regard as their white counterparts,” Hill added.

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