News flash from Captain Obvious: We’ve come a long way, baby, but we still have a long way to go.
I’m a 66-year-old African American man who grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’ve loved sports my entire life. I played, I watch and I write about it.
I remember a time when black athletes didn’t get a chance to be the quarterback at larger universities and in the NFL. I remember going to Auburn University as a freshman in 1972 when there were two blacks, James Owens and Thom Gossom, on the football team. I remember rooting for Huntsville’s own Condredge Holloway when he became the quarterback at the University of Tennessee.
The playing field throughout the sports landscape has definitely become diverse. Just look at the rosters of today’s teams. But there is something that hasn’t changed very much: There aren’t many minority head coaches.
I was listening to sports radio in my car while driving to work the other morning. The college football analysts were sharing their lists of potential candidates for major college vacancies – including USC, LSU, Washington and Virginia Tech. Not surprisingly the candidates they mentioned were white men. No minorities. Surely there are viable candidates out there who deserve a shot.
Perhaps youngsters today will see things change by the time they get my age. Maybe someday the staff on the sidelines will be as diverse as the players on the field.