President Joe Biden commented on the lack of Black coaches in the NFL during an interview that aired during halftime of the 2021 Super Bowl.
"You've got to go out and look," said Biden in the interview with Westwood One Sports. The president, who has made a point to "have the most diverse" Cabinet in American history, continued, "There's innumerous incredibly qualified African American coaches out there."
"I don't understand why they cannot find — because they exist, so many African American coaches that are qualified, that should be in the pros, in my view," he added.
Speaking from his own personal experience about the impact emphasizing diversity in hiring can have, Biden noted that "it encourages and it emboldens and it gives confidence to so many people who have been left out."
"It is really, really important," he added, going on to specifically reference the way so many young girls were inspired by Vice President Kamala Harris' nomination. Harris became the first woman vice president but also the first Black person and first person of Asian descent to hold the office when she was sworn in last month.
"I don't know how many, when I picked a Black woman to be vice president, I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of little girls said, 'I can do this,' " he added. "It matters. It matters."
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Last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell commented on the NFL's lack of diversity and how their decades-old policy, called the Rooney Rule, of requiring every team in the league to interview "at least one" diverse candidate for coaching positions, is not sufficient.
"Clearly, we are not where we want to be on this level," Goodell said. "We have a lot of work that's gone into not only the Rooney Rule but our policies overall. It's clear we need to change and do something different."
"There's no reason to expect we're going to have a different outcome next year without those kinds of changes," he added.
Although athletes who compete in the NFL are over 70 percent Black, there are only three Black head coaches, according to USA Today.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the winners of this year's Super Bowl, have one of the most diverse coaching staffs in the league, CNN noted. Their defensive, offensive and special teams coordinators are all Black, as is their assistant head coach.
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"I don't know if I've ever been part of anything like this," offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich told reporters ahead of the Super Bowl, according to CNN. "This is not the norm of how this league and how the coaching staff looks across the league."
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