12.21.2004

dolphins, nick saban, and black coaches

every since ricky williams decided that he liked reefer better than football, we all knew that it was only a matter of time until dave wannstedt, one of the worst head coaches ever, would get the axe in miami. anyways, miami went about their search for his replacement, and anyone who knows anything could tell that nick saban, LSU's head coach was their guy. however, the dolphins couldn't hire him right away because NFL rules require teams looking for a new head coach to interview at least one minority candidate and that's what art shell did over the weekend.

this guy seems to think that even though the dolphins have no intention of hiring, that it was ok for shell to go ahead and go through with the dog and pony show and interview so that the dolphins can look like they're complying with the rules. like all minority hiring remedies, this is a tough one to figure out. is it good that NFL teams are required to interview a black candidate. of course it is, but is it good that teams can get around it by flying in any black coach and pretending to be interested in him. of course not. they could have flown in samuel l. jackson and it would've pretty much had the same effect. like i said, i'm still not sure what the answer is, but between this and ty willingham, it seems clear that black coaches do not get the same opportunities as white coaches. part of this is because of the general discourse of meritocracy of sports, that it's an insular thing that only represents the best in us, so if someone gets a job it's because he's earned it in some way. but since sports is not autonomous from the rest of society, this idea of meritocracy is at least partially a myth, as race dynamics continue to play themselves out in issues such as this.

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