Monday, January 24, 2011

Dr. Boyce: Mike Tomlin’s Big Win is a Huge Win for Diversity in the NFL

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Anyone watching with pride as the Pittsburgh Steelers fought their way to yet another Super Bowl likely heard a few interesting facts about their general on the field, Mike Tomlin. Tomlin, at the age of 38, is the youngest head coach to ever lead two teams to the Super Bowl. Before that, he was the youngest head coach to win a Superbowl. He does this while sitting at the helm of a storied franchise that has more Super Bowl wins than any team in NFL history. In other words, the man is a serious beast.
Tomlin's feats are not just impressive for a black coach, they stand above nearly any coach in NFL history. It is equally ironic that he is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose owner was responsible for opening the door for black coaches to get a chance in the league. Steelers owner Dan Rooney helped to create the Rooney rule, requiring NFL teams to interview African Americans for head coaching and senior administrative positions.


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