If we ever needed an example of a story that encapsulates how bad of a shape we’re in as a society, then look no further than Art Briles.
The former Baylor head football coach, who was one of the innovators of the spread offense, was hired last week to be the head coach of Mount Vernon High School in Texas. Back in 2016, Briles was fired from Baylor due to how poorly he handled sexual assault cases against members of his team. It’s alleged that at least 30 players committed at least 52 rapes between 2011 to 2014.
Briles has never apologized, for any of it.
After everything that’s happened with the #MeToo movement and the ongoing discussion we’ve had about rape culture, the idea that a man like Briles can still somehow get a job coaching football is all you need to point to as the best example of what white male privilege looks like.
NEW : Mount Vernon, Texas Superientendent on the Art Briles hire…. “We vetted Coach Briles to the best of our ability.” I asked if they spoke with any of the victims at #Baylor ….. no I asked if he spoke with #NCAA ….. no. Watch the exchange below. https://t.co/QO8o4LwjDi
The irony of Briles’ hiring is that it took place in Texas, the same state in which Baylor is located.
In 2003, former Baylor men’s basketball head coach Dave Bliss resigned due to the scandal that surrounded the murder of one his former players, Patrick Dennehy, by one his teammates, Carlton Dotson. We would eventually find out that Bliss was paying players under the table, created a false narrative about Dennehy’s character, and even coached his players on how to lie to authorities.
And over the years, Baylor’s women head basketball coach Kim Mulkey has made multiple disparaging public remarks about her frustration with how the university is viewed.
“If somebody’s around you and they ever say, ‘I will never send my daughter to Baylor,’ you knock them right in the face,” said Mulkey in 2017, which was the same year in which a documentary was made about Bliss’ actions during his scandal.
There’s something in the water down in Texas, especially in Waco.
But despite what’s happened at Baylor and with a certain Texas superintendent’s eagerness to hire someone like Briles to interact with and coach kids, this situation also proves that football’s culture is always willing to turn a blind eye for the talented.
From Mount Vernon ISD superintendent Dr. Jason McCullough to me on hiring Art Briles as their new AD/Head Football Coach as they begin graduation ceremonies for the high school seniors. I hope to have additional answers sometime later tonight. #txhsfb
Last year, the Washington Redskins claimed Reuben Foster off waivers after multiple off-the-field incidents, including a domestic violence arrest.
In February, the Cleveland Browns signed Kareem Hunt despite the fact that practically every football fan in America had seen the TMZ video of him pushing a woman down during an altercation.
The Kansas City Chiefs are also still holding on to Tyreke Hill as he remains on their roster despite the fact that audio was released last month of him having an argument with the mother of his son, in which she said that the child was “terrified” of him. Hill replied by telling her, “you need to be terrified of me too, b*tch.”
And then there’s Chad Kelly.
Because not only is Jim Kelly’s nephew not only a mediocre quarterback, at best, he also has a penchant for staying in trouble. Besides the issues he had in high school, Kelly was dismissed from Clemson and was cut by the Denver Broncos in 2018 after he got arrested on suspicion of criminal trespassing. But somehow, Kelly was able to get a job with the Indianapolis Colts last week.
This is the part where I remind you that Colin Kaepernick is still chilling at the crib waiting on his phone to ring.
So, what’s the overall theme here?
The sport of football will make sure you keep a job if someone thinks your talent supersedes your inclinations to cover up rapes, beat on women, and your arrest records.
This is what America is in 2019.
A place where having talent in a game that only we worship will get you further than taking a knee for the betterment of our society.