The Jacksonville Jaguars have drawn plenty of criticism for hiring former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle. After spending two decades with Iowa, Doyle parted ways with the school in June after he was accused of making racist comments toward players.
On Friday, Rod Graves, executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, became the latest person to call out the Jaguars for that decision, blasting the Doyle hire as "simply unacceptable."
Statement from @FritzPollard03’s Executive Director Rod Graves on the #Jaguars hiring of Chris Doyle: “‘I’ve known Chris for close to 20yrs,’ reflects the good ol’ boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches.” pic.twitter.com/9tq56MDcel
— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) February 12, 2021
Graves' full statement read:
"At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches. Doyle's departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players. His conduct should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for University of Iowa. Urban Meyer's statement, "I've known Chris for close to 20 years", reflects the good ol' boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches."
The Fritz Pollard alliance is a group consisting of "scouts, coaches, and front office personnel in the NFL as well as other sports professionals committed to equal opportunity in the industry," according to its website.
A number of former Iowa players called out Doyle's behavior at Iowa. Doyle was accused of intentionally stepping on players' fingers during warmups, telling former walk-on Terrance Pryor "Black people don’t like water in boats do they" and telling another Black player Doyle would put them "back on the streets."
Urban Meyer brushed off those concerns Thursday, saying he's known Doyle a long time, and didn't think Doyle would present any issues to the Jaguars. Meyer said he "thoroughly vetted" Doyle before making the hire.
Lack of Black head coaches a problem in NFL
Barring any emergency changes during the offseason, NFL teams will employ only three Black head coaches — David Culley, Brian Flores and Mike Tomlin — next season. Seven teams hired new head coaches this offseason, but only one of those hires — Culley — was Black. The New York Jets hired Robert Saleh, who is an Arab American.
A number of teams passed over Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who is Black, for the second straight season. Teams also overlooked the entire Tampa Bay Buccaneers' coaching staff, which is led by four Black coordinators — Keith Armstrong, Todd Bowles, Harold Goodwin and Byron Leftwich.
All five of those those coordinators took part in Super Bowl LV, where the Bucs prevailed over the Chiefs 31-9.
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