Even when Black coaches have shown themselves impressive, they have a shorter amount of time to do so and have their competency questioned when they run into the first bit of trouble. When Jason Garrett was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, he had three 8-8 seasons before he got to 12-4 in 2014. Josh McDaniels, who was fined for taping practices, was just named head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.


Josh McCown, ex-QB with no head coaching experience, is in the lead for the Houston Texans job while firing Black coach David Culley, who had one of the worst rosters in the league. Bucs offensive coordinator Bryon Leftwich and Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienenmy have both won Super Bowls and helmed some of the top offensives in the league. Still not hired.

The Rooney Rule may have been well-intended when enacted in 2003, but it’s only there so that teams can satisfy an interview requirement as they hire the candidate they want. It’s a collective ownership group comprised of no Black people and only two people of color playing in our faces every year. The evolution of The Rooney Rule has no teeth to it at all –emphasizing interviews through a revolving door.

If you want to argue that owners can hire whomever, they want to, that’s fine. But let’s not act like the Rooney Rule will do anybody favors. The NFL will open games with “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and slap “stop hate” decals on helmets, but not adequately address the old racist contingent within the league. A sports league made up of 70% Black athletes should have more people who look like them at top positions.

Brian Flores and Colin Kaepernick are mirrors of hard American truths that the good-ole boys’ glass ceiling is as strong as ever. Kaepernick took a stand and has not been signed by a team since then. I hope the same fate doesn’t meet Flores’s coaching career, as Black people calling out racist practices shouldn’t result in never doing the things they love again. To progress, the NFL has to accept that The Rooney Rule has only widened inequalities, not helped stop them.