NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had to have known he would face questions about the league’s head-coach hiring practices in light of Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.
Even without Flores’ lawsuit, Goodell likely would’ve had to address the continued lack of minority hiring when nine head-coach positions were open and only two of them went to people of color. New Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel is biracial and the Texans hired Lovie Smith under what could be viewed as questionable circumstances with increased scrutiny over hiring Black coaches.
But the issue is at the forefront of concerns the NFL needs to deal with, so Goodell had to confront the league’s lack of diversity in hiring during his “State of the NFL” press conference on Wednesday. Posing questions on the matter was NFL Network’s Jim Trotter. (The call is coming from inside the house, Rog!)
Video of the exchange was aired on NFL Total Access, which you can see below:
Trotter began by pointing out that 24 of the NFL’s 32 franchises have either had one Black head coach or no Black head coaches. He named the 13 teams that have never hired a Black head coach, then mentioned that the league has never had a majority Black owner and only one Black team president. Seven general managers are Black, five hired in the past 12 months. And now, three Black head coaches, two hired after the Flores lawsuit.
“When we look at the league office, of the top 11 executives, there are only two people of color,” said Trotter. “When we look at NFL Media Group, where I work, there is not one Black person at the senior level in the newsroom who makes decisions about a league whose player population is 70 percent Black.”
“So as a member of the Media Group and as a Black man, I ask why does the NFL and its owners have such a difficult time at the highest levels hiring Black people into decision-making positions?”
Goodell gave what most would view as an evasive answer, saying the league believes in diversity but needs to look at its policies and procedures, and needs to do a better job.
Soon thereafter, Trotter appeared on San Francisco’s Damon & Ratto and talked about putting Goodell on the spot, but not getting a satisfactory answer.
“The thing that was fascinating to me today is when Roger said that no topic has dominated or created more discussion among the owners over the last four to five years than this diversity issue,” Trotter said.
“I’m listening to that and I’m saying, ‘Well, doesn’t that tell you then that you guys aren’t getting it right?’ Here we are, five years later, and we’re still talking about the same thing and the numbers are not actually increasing, but regressing.”
Trotter went on to express his frustration that team owners who haven’t hired Black coaches are on the league’s diversity and social justice committees. Yet when they have head-coach openings, they’re not hiring minorities for those positions.
“I’m at a loss for words here because it truly is so frustrating and so exhausting, and just so unfair to these men who, all they want is an equal opportunity,” said Trotter.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bobby Belt: ‘Pat McAfee Butchered The Name Shan and RJ’
“I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”
Shan and RJ is a show that routinely finds itself in the media spotlight. They may be a Dallas show, but when Jerry and Stephen Jones routinely appear on your airwaves, you are going to draw attention from outside of the market.
On Tuesday, Pat McAfee played a clip of the hosts talking to Jerry Jones. McAfee threw to the clip introducing the show as “Shan, RJ, and Chop.” On Wednesday morning, the 105.3 The Fan’s morning show had some fun with the former Colts punter’s struggles.
“There’s a lot to unpack here,” newly added co-host Bobby Belt said after listening to McAfee and his crew take three unsuccessful cracks at naming the show.
“Reggie made a good point yesterday when I was talking to him about this,” Belt said. “Reggie was like ‘I think McAfee was going to the clip, saw three faces and didn’t know a third name, and so he’s like ‘well, that must be RJ and Chop.’”
Belt delighted in the idea that in McAfee’s mind, RJ Choppy goes by “Chop” on air and even pointed out that one of the producers said that RJ “looks like a Chop.”
Pat McAfee called the show “Shan, RJ, and Chop,” “Shana, RJ and Chop,” and “Shannon and RJ” on different occasions according to Belt. He didn’t think it was disrespectful. He just didn’t understand how McAfee got it so wrong so often.
“They butchered this three ways to the weekend. I have no idea. I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”
Cubs Radio Voice Pat Hughes Named 2023 Frick Award Winner
Chicago Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.
The award is given annually for “excellence in broadcasting” by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
“Known throughout the Midwest for his easy delivery and unparalleled knowledge, Pat Hughes has called some of the biggest moments in Cubs history and has provided the narrative for one of the most successful eras in the history of the franchise,” said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch. “Since arriving at Wrigley Field in 1996, Pat has served as the radio voice for nine postseason teams – matching an ardent fan base with his own passion in every broadcast. His reverence for baseball history and gift for storytelling have made him one of the game’s broadcast treasures.”
Hughes has spent more than 25 years as the voice of the Cubs, and is a nine-time winner of the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year Award. Earlier this year, Hughes found out on-air that he would be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame.
Hughes was previously a finalist for the award in 2016 and 2020.
Craig Carton: Jon Heyman ‘No Longer An Insider’ After Aaron Judge Gaffe
“That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”
MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman erroneously reported that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was signing with the San Francisco Giants in free agency yesterday. That news was not well received by WFAN afternoon hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts.
After Heyman rescinded his original tweet saying “Arson Judge” appeared headed to the Giants, he resent a new one with the correct spelling. During the confusion, Roberts told producers to get Heyman — who is an Audacy contributor — on the phone, which Carton immediately shot down.
“No, we’re not putting him on the air,” Carton said. “I’m not putting him on the air. He doesn’t get a platform on this show. Listen, he made a deal with the devil when he took a job with The (New York) Post. That’s his business.”
While Carton and Roberts processed the news, producer Chris McMonigle said he was certain that Judge would be signing with the Giants, but that was not Heyman’s report, and would hold off until it was official.
Roberts mocked McMonigle by saying he was in denial. “He still hasn’t accepted that Jon Heyman knows what he’s talking about,” Roberts said. Moments later, McMonigle read Heyman’s follow up tweet apologizing for “jumping the gun”.
“That is a horrendous job by Jon Heyman,” Carton replied.
“Heyman’s done,” Roberts shouted. “Jon, what are we doing?”
“Heyman is no longer an insider,” Carton added. “That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”
Carton later took umbrage with Heyman deleting his tweets.
“To play fans like that is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not right. Sorry. That’s because everyone’s gotta be first. God forbid someone else has it first. You’re a clown. Your entire career’s work has just been flushed down the toilet.”