NBA Legend Chris Bosh Calls out NFL for Discrimination Against Black Coaches

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 09: Former NBA Player Chris Bosh attends the 3rd night of the 2021 Los Angeles Fashion Week on October 09, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Chris Bosh says he is "downright mad" about the lack of Black head coaches in the NFL.

The Basketball Hall of Famer discussed the problem in his substack, "The Last Chip," following up an earlier post noting the issue last February.

"If we're talking about equal opportunity or diversity or any other word you'd use, it doesn't exist in the NFL unless you’re an athlete risking your life on the field," Bosh wrote.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is currently the only Black head coach in the NFL, while Ron Rivera is the only other minority coach. Brian Flores and David Culley were both fired after the season, while each of the four coaches hired so far this cycle—Matt Eberflus, Nathaniel Hackett, Brian Daboll and Josh McDaniels—are white men.

There are still five openings and several quality minority candidates, including Flores, Todd Bowles, Byron Leftwich, Leslie Frazier, Eric Bieniemy, Raheem Morris and more, but it remains to be seen if any will get a position.

Bosh specifically called out the circumstances of Flores and Culley losing their jobs despite admirable work on the field in 2021. Flores led the Miami Dolphins to a 9-8 record and back-to-back winning seasons, while Culley helped the Houston Texans finish 4-13 despite playing without Deshaun Watson.

"Plain and simple: while Black coaches are fired for making the most out of a bad hand, multiple seasons of below-average performance won’t stop a white coach from being praised," Bosh said. 

As Bosh noted, off-field concerns were cited in each case. 

There were "philosophical differences" in Houston, while Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said they weren't "working well as an organization."

Though these could be real issues behind the scenes, it also makes it easier to justify a move despite relative success on the field.

Bosh, who spent 13 years in the NBA earning 11 All-Star selections with two titles, said the "bias problem" in the NFL is enough for him to stop watching the sport.

"I've always loved football for a hundred different reasons—not least of which is the way it highlights perseverance. I love to see athletes give their minds, bodies, and souls on any field. But I can't support a league where bias is as deeply ingrained as hard work—so deeply that no one seems to care," he wrote.

If things don't change, he might not be alone.