Main results for ‘Black Out’, The Post series about Black NFL coaches

“Black Out” is a series from The Washington Post that examines why black coaches continue to be denied key coaching positions in the NFL nearly 20 years after it implemented the Rooney Rule, which is intended to provide fairer opportunities.

A cultural and financial force, the NFL has been under more scrutiny since the season ended, when two head coaches were fired – and the league was briefly left with only one. One of those fired coaches, Brian Flores, later File a lawsuit against the league and its teams for discrimination.

Amid this scrutiny, The Post analyzed three decades’ worth of data on the hiring, performance, retention and professional networks of NFL coaches. Postal Reporters also interviewed 16 of the 24 black men who served as head coaches for the NFL, as well as former players, assistants, CEOs, agents, and others.

The series will run throughout the NFL season. Here are the main points so far:

Black coaches are still underrepresented

In the NFL, 58 percent of players are black and only a quarter are white. As recently as the last decade, nearly 70 percent of gamers have been black.

But only 11 percent of full-time coaches since 1990 have been black. During that time, 154 white men served as head coach for the NFL, compared to 20 black men.

In each of the past four seasons, including this one, only three of the league’s 32 coaches have been black. And after nearly two decades of Rooney’s law enforcement, 13 teams have yet to hire a full-time black coach.


Black workforce, white bosses

Variation in NFL percentage

Black players and coaches remain strict.

rune base

It entered into force in 2003.

Sources: TIDES (Institute for Diversity and Ethics

in sports), World Sports Institute, After reporting

Black workforce, white bosses

Variation in the percentage of NFL players

And coaches who are black are still strict.

rune base

It entered into force in 2003.

Sources: TIDES (Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport),

world sports institute After reporting

Black workforce, white bosses

The disparity in the percentage of black NFL players and coaches is still evident.

rune base

It entered into force in 2003.

Sources: TIDES (Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport), World Institute of Sport, After reporting

If they get the job, they will most likely be fired

Since 1990, full-time black coaches have led teams to a record .500 or better in 78 regular seasons. In 9 percent of those cases, those coaches were subsequently fired. At the same time, white coaches who met this standard were fired only 4 percent of the time.

Black coaches who won at least six games in one season were fired 12 percent of the time, compared to 8 percent of white coaches. When they win at least nine games in a season, black coaches are fired 8 percent of the time, compared to 2 percent of white coaches.

In other words, black coaches who won at least nine games in the regular season were fired at the same rate as white coaches who won at least six games.


Winning is not everything

The winning percentage in which every coach fired from the NFL since 1990 shows that black coaches, on average, have been fired after better seasons than their white peers in recent years.

Prior to 2010, less than one black coach was employed

Average was launched every year, affecting

average trend line.

Sources: After reportingSports reference

Winning is not everything

The winning percentage in which every coach fired from the NFL since 1990 shows that black coaches, on average, have been fired after better seasons than their white peers in recent years.

Prior to 2010, the rate was lower than one black coach

It was launched every year, affecting the average trend line.

Sources: After reportingSports reference

Winning is not everything

The winning percentage in which every coach fired from the NFL since 1990 shows that black coaches, on average, have been fired after better seasons than their white peers in recent years.

Prior to 2010, an average of fewer than one black coach was fired each year, affecting

average trend line.

Sources: After reportingSports reference

Black coaches face narrower paths to reach the top jobs

Nearly half of black coaches play in the NFL compared to a quarter of white coaches, indicating a prerequisite for some coaches that others do not.

black out

This football season, The Washington Post examines the NFL’s decades-long failure to equitably promote black coaches to senior jobs, despite the multibillion-dollar league fueled by black players.

The Post finds that black coaches then weaken for nearly twice as long as assistant coaches and coaches before taking on head coaching jobs, spending more time at intermediate levels of league coaching. Black men who became head coaches in the NFL in the past decade have, on average, spent nine years longer than their white counterparts in mid-level assistant positions and three years less as coordinators.

Widespread pressure to hire offensive-minded young coaches with experience in coaching brokers has also alienated black coaches, who for decades have largely stayed away from offensive coaching opportunities. Of the many coaches 40 or less hired in recent years, only one, Flores, was black, and none of them was a black attacking coach.

Meanwhile, white coaches spent more time in college roles. Since 1990, seven white coaches have become first-time head coaches in the NFL without ever being coaches in the league, a feat no black coach can claim. These seven coaches had a total of 161-205-1 (win ratio of 0.440).


The league’s move towards attacking young coaches leaves black coaches behind

The head coaches in the NFL with experience in attacking are generally white, but the difference is more pronounced for those 40 or younger.

Categories are defined based on the coach’s age as

January 1 every year.

Sources: After reportingSports reference

The league’s move towards attacking young coaches leaves black coaches behind

The head coaches in the NFL with experience in attacking are generally white, but the difference is more pronounced for those 40 or younger.

Categories are defined based on the coach’s age as

January 1 every year.

Sources: After reportingSports reference

The league’s move toward young attacking coaches leaves black coaches behind

The head coaches in the NFL with experience in attacking are generally white, but the difference is more pronounced for those 40 or younger.

Classes are determined based on the age of the coach as of January 1 of each year.

Sources: After reportingSports reference

Rooney’s base fails to overcome teammates’ biases

In interviews with The Post, current and former coaches have described Rooney Rule’s ability to be interviewed — and her inability to overcome teammates’ biases.

Several black coaches, including Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, described interviews in which they were implicitly told they had no chance. The coaches said the racist comments were held in their own right amid fears of being labeled difficult.

“There’s a culture of enforced silence, because if you want another chance, you can’t go out and say, ‘That interview I got was a hoax,’ or ‘I didn’t get a fair deal,'” Dungey said. It will be held against you.”

Black coaches are eliminated to stop the roles

Black coaches are more likely to be hired as temporary coaches than in full-time roles, indicating owners’ desire to assign their teams to black leaders only when success is out of reach. Black coaches have held 13 percent of head coaching positions full-time since 1990—and 29 percent of temporary positions. While 5 percent of white NFL coaches have served only as temporary coaches, 20 percent of all black NFL coaches fall into this category.

Working as a temporary coach can be a path to a full-time job—but it’s a tough road for black coaches. Black coaches have held temporary positions 14 times since 1990, and have been retained on a permanent basis only three times. All three — Romeo Crinell with the Kansas City Chiefs, Leslie Frazier with the Minnesota Vikings and Mike Singletary with the San Francisco 49ers — set a record of at least 0.500 during their stints. For white coaches, offers of full-time work had nothing to do with their records as temporary coaches, The Post found.