It seems that every topic in today’s society — regardless of the arena — gets boiled down to race. It’s probably one of the leading factors in everybody being so pissed off at each other all the time in our current times.
Now, the world of sports is not shielded from this epidemic, as we see in headlines across the sports world almost daily.
That’s why what Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles said, while answering questions at a press conference recently, is so refreshing and important.
Bowles is an African American head coach, and there is a lot of tension in the NFL about supposed ‘equity’ and the expanded Rooney Rule not going far enough when it comes to hiring more black head coaches.
So when he was asked about his relationship with fellow African American head coach Mike Tomlin for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who happens to be his next opponent, and new interim Panthers head coach Steve Wilks, he had the perfect response:
“I have a very good relationship with Tomlin. We don’t look at what color we are when we coach against each other. We just know each other. I have a lot of very good white friends that coach in this league as well and I don’t think it’s a big deal … Wilks got an opportunity to do a good job, hopefully he does it … we coach ball, we don’t look at color.”
You would think that would have ended the conversation right there. But then, another reporter — a white female from ESPN — actually had the gall to say:
“But you also understand that representation matters too, right? That when young aspiring coaches or even football players they see you guys — you know they see someone that looks like them, maybe grew up like them, that has to mean something.”
I will let you guess who sounds like the racist in that exchange. But it lead right into a trap because Bowles had another perfect response:
“When you say, see ‘you guys’ or ‘look like them’ or ‘grew up like them,’ that means we are oddballs to begin with. And I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well.”
He couldn’t be more correct.
Some will take that as him saying we should never talk about race — and that isn’t true either.
But when we interject it into everything in our daily lives regardless of background or tax bracket it becomes normal to view everyone by what they look like instead of who they are.
When that prism becomes normal, the divisiveness does too even in the sports world.
So to those reporters, maybe next time talk about the content of one’s character, not the color of their skin.
Jake Crain is co-host of “Crain & Company.” the Daily Wire’s sports show hosted by former athletes and coaches Jake Crain, Blain Crain, and David Cone.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.