Broadcaster Claims Black Coaches in the NFL Are Victims of White Privilege

Vance Joseph
Vance Joseph (R) head coach of the Denver Broncos meets head coach Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers on the field after the Los Angeles Chargers 23-9 win over the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on December 30, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Joseph was fired at the end of the regular season. Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

A broadcaster has suggested the lack of black coaches in the NFL is due to white privilege.

Speaking on ABC-affiliate WFAA, Dale Hansen argued the latest series of head coaches appointments in the league suggested black coaches remained likely to be overlooked.

Read more: NFL coach tracker: Which franchises have hired new head coaches?

Eight teams will have a new head coach next season, with six franchises firing their head coach on "Black Monday", as the day after the final weekend of the regular season is colloquially known.

Of the six coaches who were relieved of their duties, four were black. Vance Joseph and Steven Wilks were fired by the Denver Broncos and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively, while Todd Bowles and Marvin Lewis were let go by the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Additionally, Hue Jackson was fired halfway through the season by the Cleveland Browns, meaning Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin and his Los Angeles Chargers' counterpart, Anthony Lynn, are the only two black head coaches left in the NFL.

Wilks was replaced by Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired by Texas Tech after going 35-40 during his six seasons in Lubbock. Hansen insisted Kingsbury's appointment typified the issue of white privilege among head coaches in the league.

"Kingsbury fits all the criteria to be a head coach in the NFL: He's an offensive genius, he's young—and he's white, and not necessarily in that order," he said on Wednesday.

"There have been six new coaches hired so far, all white and two coaches of color. They are replacing Steve Wilks, fired in Arizona after just one year, and Vance joseph in Denver after just two.

"The Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is in his ninth year—apparently because he wins so much."

In December, the NFL modified the Rooney Rule, which was introduced in 2003 and required every team to interview one of more diverse candidates. Following the changes, franchises now have to recommend candidates from diverse backgrounds and maintain complete records of the candidates.

"The policy updates made today will bolster the current Rooney Rule requirements and are intended to create additional opportunities for diverse candidates to be identified, interviewed, and ultimately hired when a vacancy becomes available," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement on December 12.

The veteran broadcaster isn't the first to question why Garrett has managed to retain his job in Dallas for as long as he has. In October, Stephen A. Smith suggested the reason why the Cowboys had not fired their head coach was his relationship with owner Jerry Jones or something even more sinister.

"These are the kind of things that make African-Americans uncomfortable," Smith said on ESPN's Get Up show.

"Because clearly Jason Garrett has this job still because of his relationship with [Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones. There's no other reason he is the head coach.

"That is the kind of stuff that throughout history African-Americans have complained about religiously because again, that relationship [with Jones] is the only reason he is still the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and that is not something that customarily happens for us."

Smith's comments came two days after the Cowboys slipped to 2-3 after losing against the Texans in Houston. However, Dallas won eight of the next 11 games to clinch the NFC East title and secure a spot in the playoffs.

Last week, the Cowboys beat the Seahawks 28-25 in the Wild-Card round and on Saturday they will face the Rams in Los Angeles knowing a win would take them to the NFC Championship game for the first time since 1995.