In roughly about 45 minutes from now, give a take a few seconds, the NFL will kick off the 2018-2019 NFL playoffs. Millions of fans will watch in sheer excitement as their teams battle it out against an opponent in what they hope will be a victory. Or if you are like me and your team (Atlanta Falcons) is already on vacation, then you are watching just because you are a true fan of the wonderful game of football. Wow. The game of football. A test of intestinal fortitude. Mono e mono. The battle of wills. Your best against my best. May the best man win. Football the greatest game ever created. Sorry if I get a bit carried away, but this game has both sentimental and financial value for me which for this post I will not elaborate; just know that it means a great deal and allow me to embellish it just a bit. Except in all earnest the game of football does need to be embellished because at the physical root of the game, it is unbiased, unfiltered, and unapologetically gladiatorial. One can’t and should not deny the physical nature of the game. Set that aside and football is truly pure and amazing. However, like anything else, there is the human element which seems to find a way to murk the waters and make it always almost inhumane. So let’s get to it before your libations began to kick in from excitement of your team winning or you throw a tantrum because your team is on the losing end of a still early game.
We all know about the dreaded Black Monday, no not the Monday after Black Friday when you realize how much money was spent after the Thanksgiving Holidays. I’m referring to the Monday at the end of the NFL regular season when some NFL head coaches are notified that their services will no longer be needed. An unfortunate event because in today’s’ workforce….wait their severance packages and contracts are great and rather lucrative and these coaches normally land on their feet. However, this is not the issue or point of this post. Then what is the issue, one might ask? Here is the issue. In a league where the workforce is 70 percent black; yet owned, ran , and systems orchestrated by more than 90 percent white, in lies the issues. Then to make matters worse, out of the 32 NFL teams, only 2 NFL head coaches are black. Which did stand at 7 until Black Monday when 5 black coaches were given a pink slip. Wow. Either this is coincidence or the NFL is running amuck with very little to no system of checks and balances. Hold on, this is not politics. Or is it? Remember earlier I mention that when humans get involve in something that for all intensive purposes should be pure and amazing then that thing always almost ends up being inhumane. Such is the case in the NFL. No? Then why the need for The Rooney Rule? While I won’t get into the purpose or origins of the Rooney Rule in this post, though my hyperlinks have some explanation, I will note that it is a sort of affirmative action in the workforce. Again, why do we need this when the human thing to do is to be humane. Your corporate representation should at least represent your corporate makeup.
Listen the NFL is not going to fold. As a matter of fact it is one of the most lucrative corporations in the world. Believe me that is not the issue at hand nor the worry of the NFL owners or commissioner. And that my friends is the problem. This game we all love was embraced because it help break down many of the “isms” within the game which some humans seemed to want to perpetuate in all facets of real life. We love the game because of this and its diversity. Walter Payton was Walter Payton; Fred Biletnikoff was Fred Biletnikoff; and Anthony Munoz was Anthony Munoz. These diverse individuals paved the way for the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Jerry Rice and Tony Gonzalez; just to name a few. If the players can become great by earning an opportunity is it not the logical progression to extend this courtesy to the coaches of the game who give the players the means to be great? Which I am sure has a pool of more than 7 individuals within the NFL coaching fraternity who are more than capable; at least for a legit interview. If one was to do the humane thing then the hypocrisy associated with The Rooney Rule would not be subject matter. To be precise; The Rooney Rule would not be necessary. But such is life.