with Anthony Newcombe
published with permission from WritePlus
Date: 2/2/2022 (“DEUCES WILD!”)
This month’s topic: the NFL, its owners, and its ways
It finally happened. Just yesterday, as NFL football fans digested the results of the playoffs, we find some serious image headwinds for the league and its owners on the horizon.
NUTS AND BOLTS
Brian Flores, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins (via Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots organization), has filed a class action lawsuit against the league. It also includes three of its teams pertaining to everything from bribery (see Stephen Ross, the Dolphins’ team owner) to interview sabotage (against John Elway & Co. with the Denver Broncos) to “preemptive filling of a head coach position” he hadn’t yet interviewed for (with the New York Giants). The discovery comes by virtue of a botched congratulatory text intended for a different Brian (new NYG head coach, Brian Daboll, from the Buffalo Bills)! We couldn’t write a fable for television as intriguing as this is already turning out to be.
As I’ve been told by elders during my childhood while playing ball and breaking a few windows, it’s not good … at all. We are talking about a league that is extremely image-conscious, has certain “rules” in place that are clearly ignored, and is run by owners who tend to pay attention only to issues that which will enrich them further as opposed to addressing difficult topics that would make things better for everyone in the long run.
THE REAL PROBLEM
Call it what you’d like, but I’m going to say what I’ve always said, and that is there is very little “willingness to change” the way the NFL (and its teams) operate today. Sure, there is a “Rooney Rule” in place, and the majority of the league’s players and starters are Black. However, there is but one (1) head coach (Mike Tomlin) who reflects the number (and type?) of players who are the helm of the sport and league’s success currently.
I ask you to look away from the NFL for a moment and towards the National Hockey League (NHL). Ask yourself: what would it seem like if the super majority of players were coached and owned by some other (i.e., non-White) group of people? Would anyone notice or would nearly everyone notice? That, my friends, is the real problem. The issues stemming from this area are byproducts of the real problem.
Now that the proverbial “cat is (entirely) out of the bag,” we should ask ourselves the hardest questions of all: What is to be done about this? How and who should compensate for their loss(es). Also, we may ask “What will it take to move forward from this and ensure real change is implemented?” Most importantly, we must ask “Will we ever see this happen again?”
See you next month (after most of you guys thaw out!)