Saturday, May 10, 2003

Tell Reverend Jackson to Shut Up!
According to ESPN, Jesse Jackson is set to mount a protest at the Alabama Capitol this week to protest the hiring of a white coach (Mike Shula) over an African American (Sylvester Croom). Both men are products of the University and have been assistant coaches in the NFL, though Croom does have more experience. Now, I was not involved in the process to select a new Tide football coach so I do not profess to know the why's of the situation. However, for Reverend Jackson to chalk it up to racism is simplistic and wrong. He goes so far as to compare the hiring of Shula to George Wallace's stand in the school house door. I guess this should not be a surprise coming from someone desperate to still matter in a post-civil rights America. Jesse Jackson still choses to see everything with a 1950-60's mentality. To him, any action with even the scarcest chance of racial overtones is akin to Birmingham.
Jackson also erupted earlier this year when the Detroit Lions hired Steve Mariucci as their new head coach without even interviewing a minority candidate. See, the problem was that EVERYONE knew the Lions wanted Mariucci, so why bother interviewing just to fill some sort of quota. Jackson and his cohort of affirmative action advocates cannot seem to fathom that the best way to increase African American representation among the ranks of major sports is to play off the success of those who already hold such positions. There are plenty of capable minority candidates for head coaching jobs and the teams that pass them over do so at their own risk. Notre Dame didn't need Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow Coalition to tell them Tyrone Willingham was a good coach, neither did the Portland Trailblazers need any nudging to hire Mo Cheeks. Forcing teams to interview minority candidates does nothing to further the cause. The only way to open up coaching is for the cream to rise to the top.


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