It’s no secret that minority hires in the NFL aren’t where they should be, specifically with head coaches around the league. Last year saw absolutely no African-American head coaches hired and it has been something the NFL wants to change.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance has been a driving force behind getting minority candidates hired in the NFL and after the Jim Caldwell hiring in Detroit on Tuesday, chairman Jim Wooten is overjoyed. The Detroit Free Press published some of Wooten’s quotes and the Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman has compared the hiring of the first African-American head coach in Lions history to the election of Barack Obama.
“This is meaningful,” Wooten said. “This is big for us. Detroit was, I almost had the same feeling that I had when I saw Virginia come in six years ago with President (Barack) Obama, had that same feeling when I heard Detroit was in with Jim Caldwell. This is huge for all of us.”
That’s not a minor comparison, as the election of the first African-American president was a historic moment for the country. The Caldwell hiring may not look on the surface like an equal comparison, but minority hires in the NFL are a rarity at the head coaching position, so much so that the Lions are hiring their first African-American head coach in 2014.
It’s a historic day for the Lions and hopefully the start of a historic rise to the top of the NFL for Jim Caldwell’s new team.