This article appeared in the February 18, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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How should the NFL address racism? More Black owners, says one ex-coach.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/File
Byron Allen at a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Oct. 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. He says he wants to buy the Denver Broncos.

If most of the athletes in a pro sport are Black, shouldn’t the leadership be too?

In fact, the NBA has made significant strides: Eighty-three percent of the players are people of color, and so are half of the head coaches, according to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport. 

But the NFL’s ratios are way off. About 70% of the players are Black, and as of today, only 6% of the head coaches (two) are Black. Earlier this month, recently fired Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores sued the NFL over discriminatory hiring practices. The 58-page filing is a remarkable account of racism in the NFL.

There are signs of progress in the NFL. A growing number of women and minorities are in assistant coaching positions. But Mr. Flores says lasting change has to come from the top down. “The first thing, No. 1, is Black ownership,” Mr. Flores tells Rolling Stone. “There are no Black voices in those meetings.”

Out of the 32 NFL team owners, two are minorities. None are Black. But that too may change. Several investors are reportedly interested in buying the Denver Broncos, but the NFL commissioner has been encouraging media mogul Byron Allen to buy a team since 2019, he says. “I strongly believe I can help effectuate positive changes throughout the league. And for that reason, I will be making a bid for the Denver Broncos,” he told Bloomberg last week. 

If Mr. Allen’s investment group succeeds, he’d be the first Black principal owner in the NFL. Could that be a catalyst for progress? Brian Flores says it will. 

This article appeared in the February 18, 2022 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 02/18 edition
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