Field of Science

Racism Alive and Well in America, Example #35,672

Jason Cole wrote an article on Yahoo Sports (yeah, I know) regarding the absence of any minority hires for any of the 15 available head coach or general manager positions in the NFL. Currently, it is 14/15, with the 15th to come soon (and expected to be another white guy). Those are the facts. 

The NFL instituted the 'Rooney Rule,' which requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coach and general manager, because many owners would simply not bother considering someone with more melanin than their neighbors. That has helped slightly, although there are apparent cases of teams interviewing candidates simply to check off the box. The 'Rooney Rule' has helped minority candidates to at least get a foot in the door and some consideration they often would not have gotten before. One of the continuing problems is that there are very few minority coaches in the coordinator ranks, which is where most new head coaches come from. To address this, the NFL is being asked to expand the Rooney Rule to include the coordinator position and several assistant coaching positions.

The NFL is not being asked to institute a quota system nor are teams being asked to consider hiring unqualified people. What is trying to be done is to have teams consider candidates they may unconsciously (or not so unconsciously) overlook. Why would NFL teams have to be overtly forced to do this? Well, the teams are composed of human beings just like trolls people commenting on Yahoo columns. Let's see what these Yahoo yahoos have to say about the idea (my replies in red).


  • scott
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    Scott  •  17 hours ago
    best person for the job end of story. stop playing the race card
    7 Replies
  • Scott S
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    Scott S  •  14 hours ago
    Or how about we talk to and hire the best qualified candidates...

    But I guess that's not "progressive" enough

    Good point Scotts, except for reality. I guess the reason women were not seen in CEO positions in the 60s and 70s is that women are no good at business. Probably the same reason men were doctors and women were nurses. You know it is probably easier to hirer the best candidates, if you did not toss out a large number of football experts based on the color of their skin.
  • x
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    X  •  17 hours ago
    how about we expand the rooney rule to say we look at lack of whites as receivers and defensive backs ? Lets see some diversity there too...How about we look at the NBA and make that be 50 percent white on the court at all times? Sound silly too ? Because it is silly ,let those who deserve the... More
    12 Replies
  • Evan B
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    Evan B  •  18 hours ago
    Ugh, the Rooney Rule is so stupid. Who cares what color any of these people are (and why not require them to interview both genders while they are at it). Skin color has no bearing whatsoever on how good or bad a coach will be. Any team that automatically eliminates minorities from consideration... More

    It is interesting that there are no women in NFL coaching positions. Of course it is obviously because vaginas make it impossible to understand and teach blocking schemes. BTW many people overtly care about skin color in the US, remember those lovely 'put the white back in white house T-shirts'? Boy, were those a hoot! Beyond the overt KKK supporters, many more people have subconscious skin color biases (myself included).

  • veedub
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    Veedub  •  18 hours ago
    If this keeps up I'm going to write the NBA and ask for a "Larry Bird" rule, must have at least one White starting player.
    3 Replies
  • constructive
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    Constructive  •  15 hours ago
    Lets expand it. There are no starting white running backs and very few white receivers. God forbid we go to the NBA. Their response would be ability. I agree with that but stop shoving blacks down our throat. If a person who is black has the ability and smarts to run a team don't you think... More
    10 Replies

    No, please go to the NBA. I think your privilege is showing through a little though.
  • D
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    D  •  1 hour 30 minutes ago
    Black people wont be satisfied til they are the majority in all postions in all careers or sports. 2 awful coaches get fired who happen to be black....and a bunch of strong white candidates get hired - no one questions whether the best people were hired, no just question whether enough black... More
  • Steve E
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    Steve E  •  17 hours ago
    40 years of forcing blacks down our throats, and race relations are the worst ever.
    3 Replies

    One wonders why race relations may be the worst ever (probably worse than in 1862 or 1964) after '40 years of forcing blacks down our throats'. WTF Steve?

  • Steve E
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    Steve E  •  18 hours ago
    I think Yahoo Sports isn't diverse enough. Let's replace Cole with a black female, with a handicap.

I noted several times the potential for unconscious bias regarding race. There is a lovely little online demo run by Harvard that you can use to see if you have some underlying racial preference. If you want to learn a bit about yourself with regards to subconscious feelings on race (you may not like the results) go here and take the Race IAT demo test. My results are below.

You have completed the African American - European American IAT.
Your Result

Your data suggest a moderate automatic preference for European American compared to African American.

Thank you for your participation. Just below is a breakdown of the scores generated by others. Most respondents find it easier to associate African American with Bad andEuropean American with Good compared to the reverse.
Race score distribution
Many of the questions that you answered on the previous page have been addressed in research over the last 10 years. For example, the order that you performed the response pairing is influential, but procedural corrections largely eliminate that influence (see FAQ #1). Each visitor to the site completes the task in a randomized order. If you would like to learn more about the IAT, please visit the FAQs and background information section.
You are welcome to try additional demonstration tasks, and we encourage you to register (easy) for the research site where you will gain access to studies about more than 100 topics about social groups, personality, pop culture, and more.

Does this mean I'm a racist? No (it doesn't mean I'm not either). It does suggest that I have a subconscious bias towards people who appear to be of European descent than of African descent, which may be worth considering when I interview candidates for a research technician. (I specifically used the word 'appear' because person A could genetically be 95% European but have the few traits we associate with African, like more melanin, and person B could genetically be 95% African but have the few traits we associate with European. In this case, our eyes tell us that person A is of African descent and person B is of European descent. However, the reality is the opposite.) 

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