TAMPA, Fla. – The media tried to make the NFL’s alleged lack of “diversity” among its head coaches an issue on Thursday, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles shared some thoughts that ran counter to the narrative.
Bowles, who is black, was asked about coaching Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose longtime coach, Mike Tomlin, is also black.
A reporter wanted Bowles to describe his relationship with Tomlin since they are “two of the few black coaches” in the NFL.
“I have a very good relationship with Tomlin,” Bowles began, according to a video posted on Twitter.
He added, “We don’t look at what color we are when we coach against each other. We just know each other.”
“I have a lot of very good white friends that coach in this league as well, and I don’t think it’s a big deal, as far as us being coaching against each other. It’s normal,” Bowles continued. “We both got an opportunity to do a good job against each other. We coach ball.”
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Another reporter then asked the coach about how awareness that “representation matters.”
“Well, when you say they see ‘you guys’ and look like them and grew up like them means that we’re oddballs to begin with,” Bowles answered.
“I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it everybody else will as well.”
On Twitter, conservative sports commentator Clay Travis noted of Bowles’s responses, “What’s fascinating about this answer to me is this is how anyone raised in the 1980s, 1990s or early 2000s would answer these questions. We were all raised, especially in sports, with (the) idea that we all had more in common, regardless of race, than we did different.”
“But then woke culture and victim ideology took over — which is the direct opposite of sports culture — and now Bowles will get attacked by the tiny minority of blue checks who don’t remotely represent sports culture & many will get notice to spout their talking points or else.”
“I’m not sure any part of American life is more full of bulls–t right now than sports. Athletes, coaches, & owners are diametrically opposed to all the woke media that cover them yet are so afraid of woke mobs that most say things they don’t believe just to avoid getting attacked,” Travis added.
“Athletic culture is a direct reflection of the meritocracy. Being elite is the aspiration. Dominating is the goal. No one wants to be equal with another player or another team,” he continued.
“You want to be better than them and beat their a–. That’s how you win and get paid.”