ESPN host Stephen A. Smith blasted the Arizona Cardinals for hiring Kliff Kingsbury instead of potentially more qualified African-American candidates Wednesday.
“I’m gonna go here, and I’ll leave it at this,” Smith started. “You know we’ve got players protesting the national anthem and this other stuff — you’ve got the whole Colin Kaepernick thing. But I’m looking at the coaches that have been fired, and look at the coaches getting hired. Now, nobody’s going to say anything about that bu I’m seeing cats get chances under certain conditions under certain conditions that I don’t think African Americans would ever get the chance.”
ESPN co-host Max Kellerman corroborated Smith’s claims.
“There may be a new kind of soft racism or a kind of invisible racism prism through which things are happening right now in the NFL,” Kellerman said.
The panel went on to discuss the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which is a policy that requires the league to interview racial minority candidates for positions of power, including head coaching jobs. (RELATED: Arizona Cardinals New Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Buyout At USC Was Only $150,000)
Now, there are several arguments behind Kingsbury’s seemingly out-of-left-field hire. The Cardinals are set on building up their offense after a dismal year with rookie QB Josh Rosen, and Kingsbury seems like the man to do it. Both Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield went through his program at Texas Tech. He’s been a head coach with an offensive mind for quite some time now, and although he’s only 32, it seems that every team in football wants to copy the Rams’ Sean McVay approach.
Of course this is not an airtight approach. It’s extremely difficult to catch lightning in a bottle, even harder to do it twice. The Rams landed a brilliant offensive mind in Sean McVay; he just happens to also be young. But hiring every single somewhat promising young college football coach who happens to have offensive experience may not be the secret formula for winning championships. And that’s not a controversial statement. It’s a fact.