The Monday Morning Teaser

Probably there was more important news than football this week, but to me the Brian Flores lawsuit against the NFL was a shiny object I couldn’t put down. It’s been common knowledge for years that Black coaching candidates face an uphill struggle in the NFL, a league where 69% of the players are Black. But an “oops” text message from Bill Belichick provided Flores with a smoking gun, and now he has a viable discrimination case.

I decided to give the story what I think of as “the Rachel Maddow treatment”. (It might also be called “the Heather Cox Richardson treatment”.) In other words, I’m going to take a long historical perspective and talk about the role of sports in America’s racial debate, going back to Jack Johnson’s heavyweight boxing championship in 1908.

Short version: NFL coaching isn’t just the usual hard-to-break-into-management problem. When Black athletes like Jesse Owens and Joe Louis started proving that Whites aren’t a superior race, racism retreated into a fallback position: Some Blacks might be gifted with awesome animal physicality, but Whites compensate with superior intellect and character.

In the NFL, this created the Blacks-can’t-be-quarterbacks myth that persisted into the 1980s. The continuing prejudice against Black coaches is the current battle line.

Anyway, I’ll try to get that article out by 10 EST.

That leaves a lot for the weekly summary: censorship, more 1-6 revelations (and pushback from Trump and the GOP), the retreat of the Omicron surge, more good economic news, Ukraine, and so forth. That should appear a little after noon.

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Comments

  • Roger  On February 7, 2022 at 8:34 am

    Another thing about Flores is that he is THAT GUY who can move Goodell from, “There’s no evidence” to “We need to do better.”

    He sort of reminds me of Neil Young v Spotify. Neil pulls music – who cares about a washed-out hippie? Then Joni and others, not just over the COVID stuff but the racist stuff; Neil changed the conversation.

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