The NFL has been criticized many times for being minimal when it comes to hiring coaches of color for the top positions of Head Coaches and head coordinators, the systemic racism prevalent within teams. Despite the introduction of the Rooney Rule in 2002, nothing has really changed much. Teams found loopholes to get around this, and one position coach in the league was content with the system.
The most recent lawsuit filed by the ex Miami Dolphins HC Brian Flores shook the league, accusing the NFL of racism in its recruiting practices, now Denver Broncos running trainer Tyrone Wheatley He appears to have reached his breaking point in publicizing the recruitment practices in the league and how black coaches are recruited to positions with little or no room for growth and advancement.
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Tyrone Wheatley claims that black coaches in the NFL are already at a disadvantage because of their race:
Tyrone Wheatley has claimed that his role in the Broncos organization is a great example of how teams recruit non-white coaches to show they are different and don’t consider race, but giving them roles that make them feel stuck. Here’s what he had to say.
“Already, I’m at a disadvantage in the NFL because I’m black. Then if you’re coaching back-to-back, you’re not working with quarterbacks. Some coaches you are not in anyone’s country” The Broncos running behind coach said: America Today.
The coach feels that since quarterbacks are the most important thing on any team, the coaches responsible for grooming them get the most attention and are the second most important position after the Head Coach role. Coaches who set other key positions, such as returns and wide receivers, rarely receive attention or appreciation because they are rarely the center of attention. Their hard work goes unnoticed, which severely limits the better opportunities that come their way.
Wheatle was hired by the Broncos after his role as RB coach at Morgan State, he was also the RB coach for Michigan State and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The RB position in Denver is pretty much filled with players like Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams and Mike Boone. Gordon and Williams were the team’s comeback as they proved their skills.
His first year was a staggering one as Williams had 4 touchdowns and 903 yards in his second season in the NFL in 2013. In the 2nd year, he managed to get 37 transports for 176 yards without making any trips to the final zone. Melvin Gordon has been extended by the team this season, with 8 touchdowns for 918 yards.
Despite the outstanding performances of his players, Tyrone Wheatley believes that because of the culture in the NFL, there is little room for him to maneuver to become a quarterback coach or get a leading job as offensive coordinator. Despite the league getting so big and now opening positions to women, it’s unfortunate to see men of color still suffer for no apparent reason.
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