Biden dumps on NFL about not living up to race commitment during Super Bowl interview

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(Video Credit: NBC News)

During a controversial interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt that aired on Sunday addressing diversity, President Joe Biden criticized the NFL, declaring that the league has not lived up to the commitment it made to hire more black or minority head coaches.

Biden parrotted comments that were previously made by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday who asserted that the league “won’t tolerate discrimination.”

“Another controversy over the NFL, this about alleged racial hiring practices,” Holt noted. “Do you think the NFL, because of its broad influence, should be held to a higher standard when it comes to issues like this?”

Pointing to the NFL’s broad influence on society, Biden remarked that it should be held to a “reasonable standard,” when it comes to issues of diversity.

“The commissioner pointed out, they haven’t lived up to what they committed to. They haven’t lived up to being open about hiring more minorities to run teams,” Biden told Holt. “Goodell says they’re gonna take a look at whether they can meet the standard. And the standard was set by someone who said this is something we should do.”

“Think about it. The whole idea that a league that is made up of so many athletes of color, as well as so diverse, that there’s not enough African American qualified coaches to quote, ‘to manage,’ these NFL teams, it just seems to me that it’s a standard that they’d want to live up to,” Biden stated. “It’s not a requirement of law, but it’s a requirement I think of some generic decency.”

Approximately 71 percent of players in the League are minorities but the overwhelming majority of head coaches are reportedly white. Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers is an exception to that trend as is Mike McDaniel, who is the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders and Robert Saleh of the New York Jets are also minority head coaches in the NFL. Rivera’s parents were Puerto Rican and Mexican and Saleh is of Lebanese descent and is a practicing Muslim.

Following a class-action racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and three teams by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who is black, the diversity issue in the NFL has become an explosive topic.

Flores asserts he received “sham” interviews while attempting to get a job with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos. He alleged that he was only being interviewed by teams in order to satisfy the Rooney Rule, which mandates they interview minority candidates for certain top jobs.

“Mr. Flores was forced to sit through a dinner with Joe Schoen, the Giant’s new General Manager, knowing that the Giants had already selected Mr. Daboll,” the suit contends. “Mr. Flores had to give an extensive interview for a job that he already knew he would not get — an interview that was held for no reason other than for the Giants to demonstrate falsely to the League Commissioner Roger Goodell and the public at large that it was in compliance with the Rooney Rule.”

Goodell announced on Wednesday that the NFL will examine whether policies should be changed following another offseason where the number of minority coaches has not significantly increased.

He claimed he “bears responsibility” for the league’s struggles in increasing diversity in coaching and other high-ranking positions on teams and in the league, according to Fox News. He said that as a league there is no subject that has been “discussed more frequently” over the past five years than increasing diversity.


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