By suing the NFL, Brian Flores has assured himself of never head coaching in the NFL again. However, I believe that Flores is not disillusioned. He himself shared on TV interviews that he was aware of the risk involved with taking the NFL owners to task.
I think it’s us, Black folk, who may be disillusioned.
We’re not disillusioned about racism in the NFL and the likelihood that Flores will be exiled from the NFL as was Colin Kaepernick. We’re not disillusioned with the reality that NFL owners are suddenly finding Jesus and hiring Black coaches, like the Houston Texans, who planned to hire a journeyman white quarterback with no head coaching experience.
Lovie Smith should have turned the job down, but I digress.
We’re not disillusioned that Flores’ former boss would hire a biracial or multiracial man, Mike McDaniel — who was long considered as white but is all of a sudden a person of color because he has a biracial father and Black grandmother — to replace a Black man and call him a minority hire to take some of the heat off the Flores lawsuit.
The McDaniel hire has folks getting a refresher on the one-drop rule, a loophole for NFL owners.
We’re not disillusioned that the NFL is praying that the Super Bowl “G-Funk” halftime show is enough to make (Black) folks forget about the Flores lawsuit. And we’re damn sure not disillusioned that this lawsuit will change the hearts and minds of NFL owners.
Well, Tony Dungy seems to…
Here’s what I think Black people may be disillusioned about: that a Black owner or Black owners are going to make a difference in increasing Black coaches and Black executives.
I highly doubt that.
Most of the 31 NFL team owners are billionaires (the Green Bay Packers are publicly owned). Whichever Black person becomes the owner of an NFL team will more than likely be a billionaire as well, and you don’t become a billionaire by doing what’s best or what’s good for Black people, not in these United States.
Out of 724 billionaires in the U.S., only seven are Black, including Oprah, Michael Jordan (basketball), Tyler Perry, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Robert Smith, who we just found out about, and David Stewart, a man I am sure most Black people have never even heard of. They didn’t get there by doing what’s good for Black people. They got there because they’re capitalists and not sure anyone bothered to check, but capitalism has never been good for Black people.
… And all Black capitalism ever did was make those people I mentioned rich.
Achieving elevated levels of wealth, power and privilege as a Black person in America doesn’t happen by making white people uncomfortable. And what makes anyone believe that any Black owner of an NFL team is going to get there and stay there by making the other white owners uncomfortable?
Is anyone so sure that a Black NFL owner will have a Black head coach and Black executives? Do people expect the Black NFL owner to convince his/her colleagues to see the light and hire more Black coaches and executives?
A Black owner isn’t necessarily a guarantee of anything that Black people would like to see out of NFL teams. Black folks can’t be disillusioned to think that a Black owner will remedy racial injustice.
Change comes from the bottom, rarely the top. Black players and Black consumers have the power. Why do we keep giving it to billionaires, white or Black?
Rann Miller is the director of anti-bias and DEI initiatives as well as a high school social studies teacher for a school district located in Southern New Jersey. He’s also a freelance writer and founder of the Urban Education Mixtape, supporting urban educators and parents of students in urban schools. You can follow him on Twitter @UrbanEdDJ .
Photos: Former Houston Texans assistant head coach Lovie Smith, left, during an NFL game, Dec. 5, 2021, in Houston. Smith was named head coach Feb. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson). Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, center, Dec. 5, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee). New Miami Dolphins head coach MikeMcDaniel, right, at a press conference, Feb. 10, 2022, Miami Gardens. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)