To begin with, I understand fully that this piece may not be for everyone and that is fine. Brian Flores was fired by the Miami Dolphins on Black Monday. This is the Monday after the NFL regular season commences, which came as a huge shock. He had a record of 24-25 in his three years on the sidelines.
A point often overlooked is the Dolphins won 19 games over the last two years (2020-2021). To point out, only nine teams had more wins in that stretch, four teams had exactly 19 wins, and the remaining 18 teams had fewer wins.
That being said, there is a major qualm I have about Miami moving on from Flores: Representation. Before you assume I’m taking this off the field, then you’d be correct. Stay with me though
Flores’ Firing Represents a Bigger Issue
Unquestionably, it is important to have representation within any business, regardless of the size of said business. Nonetheless, the NFL is a multi-billion business and 57.5 percent of their employees are black. Comparatively, there are now two black head coaches (Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin & Houston’s David Culley), or 0.0625 percent of the league.
The first thing to remember: I am not here advocating that every non-minority head coach be fired and replaced by black coaches. My point is that the rule was put in place to combat the issue and it has been used as a joke.
The Rooney Rule, named after the late Steelers owner Dan Rooney, is a requirement to interview one minority candidate from outside a team for head coaching openings. In time, the rule has been modified to necessitate franchises to interview no less than two outside minority candidates for general manager/executive of football operations roles and all coordinator roles.
The Case of Jim Caldwell
While there is a change in the NFL front offices are looking, the sidelines still look the same. All in all, the perception can look like the reality. To repeat, someone should be hired based on merit, not on race. In the case of Flores, if the lone argument is that he was fired because of his record, check out the record of former Detroit Lions HC Jim Caldwell.
Caldwell, a former Miami assistant head coach/QB coach, was 36-28 in four years and making the playoff twice…with the Lions. He was let go after a 9-7 record in 2017. Since 2018, the Lions have a record of 17-46-2. Explain to me why a team would fire a coach who won over 56 percent of his games? Another question: why have some folks kept their jobs for a lesser body of work?
In truth, I just want people to see get a fair shot at a job and be fired based on their body of work. You don’t have to be black to want diversity in sports. Also, you don’t have to be a woman to want better for women. The NFL is for all and should be represented as such.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Rich Barnes (USA Today Sports)
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