Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll isn’t standing on the sideline in the discussion about coaching diversity in the NFL.
According to an ESPN report, the 70-year-old spoke at the league’s meeting in Palm Beach last week, where he did not hold back his opinions about diversity hiring practices at the coach level.
The jury’s still out on whether Pete Carroll is truly cookout invitation-worthy.
#Seahawks HC Pete Carroll stood up and called out owners during last week's meetings and let them know that the hiring practices around the NFL won't change unless owners get out of their own universe, per @AdamSchefter.
Carroll's rant went for 10 minutes. No one challenged him.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) April 4, 2022
Carroll Comes For NFL Owners
“He just went off,” according to a source, per ESPN’s Adam 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.”
It seems likeCarroll knows the NFL version of the Catalina wine mixer in coaching has been devoid of diverse candidates.
However, according to reports, Carroll’s words might not have bode well with the ownership group for the NFL’s 32 teams.
Recently, the league announced that all 32 NFL teams must hire a minority offensive assistant coach for the 2022 season. It is the league’s attempt at jumpstarting a more inclusive coaching pool.
According to the new policy, the most significant change is that the offensive assistant coach hire can be “a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority.”
Interestingly, Carroll’s words came a day after the new rule was announced. According to a statement from the NFL during the league meetings, the NFL’s Workplace Diversity Committee rolled out the changes to “strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of the NFL’s Rooney Rule,” according to a statement from the NFL.
When Keeping It Real Goes Right
According to reports, Carroll spoke for 10 minutes to the GMs and coaches. With three Black coaches in the league, Carroll’s words come when all eyes are on NFL owner culture.
If reports are accurate, Carroll assesses the lack of diversity across the NFL coaching spectrum as a lack of relationship between minority candidates and the owners.
Speaking directly to the GMs was a strategic move, since they advise ownership, and trust they did a “Runteldat,” Martin Lawrence-style, to the owner’s suite as soon as Carroll was done.
Brian Flores Adds Pressure
Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores set it off on NFL teams and owners he felt discounted his ability as a high-caliber coach.
From the machinations of the Miami Dolphins ownership that Flores claimed, were willing to lose games for a better draft position to members of the Denver Broncos coming to his meeting allegedly hungover, Flores kicked the door open for more profound criticism.
Culture is the differentiator between hired and overlooked. Carroll puts a spotlight on the system that seemingly freezes out qualified diversity candidates partially because they aren’t in the same circles as the owners.
Mike Tomlin’s Way
Look no further than the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who publicly supported Brian Flores in the heat of his case by hiring him.
“I just didn’t want him to feel like he was on an island,” Tomlin said during a press conference in late March. “I think from a coaching fraternity standpoint, I owed him that. I was in a position to provide that. I think that started our interactions and conversations.
“Over the course of those discussions, particularly when it became evident that he was not going to get a head job, I think the natural discussion began and it really ran its course rather quickly, to be quite honest with you. It doesn’t require a lot of time to come to the realization that you could use a Brian Flores on your staff.”
Band Of Brothers
Fraternity is defined as a group of people sharing a common profession or interests or mutual support within a group. Mike Tomlin showed that, Pete Carroll spoke that, and now the NFL ownership must practice that.
Last month, Carroll left the door open for a look at quarterback-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick.
“Does that guy deserve a second shot? I think he does,” Carroll said Kaepenick. The QB confirmed during a private practice at the University of Washington indoor training facility that he and Carroll had been speaking.
So can Pete Carroll come to the cookout? Yes, as long as he understands there will be no raisins in the potato salad.