NFL History in 2007

Well, it finally happened. Lovie Smith became the first black head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl. Later this evening, Tony Dungy, another black head coach, joined him. Who would have thought…a Super Bowl where no matter what, a black head coach will win.

There is a struggle with getting more blacks in positions of power in sports. It seems to me that the NFL has made the most strides. Today, we witnessed another step in the right direction. Black coaches haven’t been given a fair shake in general, but the black coaches in the NFL have exceeded when compared with there white counterparts. So far, there have been seven black head coaches: Art Shell, Ray Rhodes, Dennis Green, Herman Edwards, Tony Dungy, Marvin Lewis and Lovie Smith. Every single one of these coaches has lead their teams to the playoffs. Here’s an except from another article:

…In fact, with the exception of Marvin Lewis, every black coach in NFL history to date has gotten his team to the playoffs within two seasons. Art Shell, Ray Rhodes, Dennis Green, Dungy, Herman Edwards, Lovie Smith all did it in their 1st or 2nd season with their first teams. Only Edwards can be said to have walked into a situation that was not marked “Total Disaster”.

Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Cyrus Mehri released a report in 2002 that caused the NFL to establish the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule required each team to interview at least one minority candidate when filling a head coach position or be fined.

This rule has had some effect. Even though its sad that such a rule is necessary to promote an equitable opportunity for minority coaches, I’m proud that those coaches that have been given a chance, have excelled. Now if we could just apply all this to the Fortune 500.


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