Pete Carroll Reportedly Called Out NFL Owners on Hirings of Candidates of Color

Doric SamApril 5, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAR 02: Head coach, Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 2, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll reportedly called out NFL owners over hirings of coaching candidates of color at last week's league meetings in Florida.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Carroll spoke for roughly 10 minutes during a meeting of general managers and coaches Tuesday, "saying the hiring of minority candidates won't improve until owners accept that there are candidates out there different than themselves."

The NFL had announced last Monday that all teams must hire an offensive assistant coach of color for the 2022 season. The new policy states that the assistant can be "a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority" and must work closely with the head coach and offensive staff.

Carroll expressed that he doesn't believe the new rule will be enough for owners to change their ways.

"He just went off," a source told Schefter. "He was saying, you can do anything but until owners get to know these candidates before the actual interviews and understand that they have to hire people who are different than them, it's not going to really change."

Schefter added that the owners "weren't happy" when they got word of Carroll's comments.

Out of nine head coaching vacancies this offseason, only two of them were filled by coaches of color: Mike McDaniels with the Miami Dolphins and Lovie Smith with the Houston Texans. They joined Ron Rivera, Robert Saleh and Mike Tomlin as the league's only coaches of color as of Carroll's comments. The day after, Bruce Arians retired as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was promoted to replace him, making him the sixth head coach of color among the league's 32 teams.  

The NFL is facing a lawsuit from former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who alleged racial discrimination in the league's hiring practices. Flores, who was a candidate for multiple head coach openings, was hired as a defensive assistant under Tomlin with the Pittsburgh Steelers.