President Joe Biden denounced the lack of Black head coaches in the NFL during an interview that aired during halftime of Super Bowl LV.
After seven head coaching vacancies in the league, only one Black head coach, David Culley of the Houston Texans, was hired during this year's hiring cycle. Even after Culley's hiring, there are only three Black head coaches in the NFL — a point of criticism coming from sportscasters, former players and now, the president.
"You've got to go out and look — there's innumerous, incredibly qualified African American coaches out there," Mr. Biden told Westwood One.
While discussing the significance of representation, he brought up his decision to pick Vice President Kamala Harris, the first ever female, Black and South Asian American vice president in U.S. history.
"When I picked a Black woman to be vice president, I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of little girls just said, 'I can do that. Wow. Wow.' It matters, it matters," he added. "And I don't understand why they cannot find, because they exist, so many African American coaches that are qualified, that should be in the pros in my view."
Diversity among the NFL's coaching and executive positions has long been criticized, especially in a league made up of mostly players of color. The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida handed the NFL a B+ for its hiring practices, but noted that it docked the league for lagging in racial and gender equity in key decision-making roles.
Prior to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl in Tampa, Mr. Biden said he was open to bringing championship sports teams to the White House, after several winning teams declined invitations to visit the White House under the Trump administration.
"I'd love to have them," he said. "The only thing that stands in the way now is COVID and depends on how we can do that because we can't have super spreaders."