Monday, February 13, 2006
Back In Black (& Silver)
While this increases the number of black head coaches in the NFL by one (to seven), it is still fair to ask -- what the heck took so long to give Shell a second chance? After his Raider HC stint ended in 1994, he had a 54-38 record and had made the playoffs in three of his five years.
That record, by the way, was the same as Jon Gruden's before he got himself "traded" to the Tampa Bay Buccanneers right before the 2002 season -- for high-round draft picks.
It's understandable why some people wonder about a double standard when it comes to black head coaches -- especially given how many mediocre white coaches seem to become part of the coaching carousel.
However, of the "new generation" (those hired after Shell's initial stint), both Tony Dungy and Herman Edwards managed to leverage new jobs immediately after leaving their previous ones (Dungy went from Tampa Bay to Indianapolis and Edwards jumped from the New York Jets to the Kansas City Chiefs; indeed, the latter's move to KC was the closest thing to an "old-boy network" strategy as you'll find ). But, overlooking Shell for the last dozen years is mind-boggling (Oh, the Raiders have had only on three winning seasons since Shell left).
On a vaguely related note (in that it involves race and an NFL player), but much more significant note, I somehow missed -- during all the Super Bowl hype -- that game MVP is the son of an African American father and a South Korean mother. However, this story was not missed by South Koreans -- particularly those of mixed background, who face much discrimination in their country:
Ward's success became a rallying point for them -- in a country that knows little about American football. It is the flip side of the same phenomenon that enables cartoons in Denmark to spark riots that cause deaths in Lebanon -- yet, obviously, far more organic. Technology has given "globalization" an impact that stretches well beyond economic concerns.
The South Korean military bans men who clearly appear of mixed racial background
from serving compulsory duty out of concern they might be unable to fit in,
noted Song Kil-weon, head of HIfamily Institute, a group working for rights of
those with mixed heritage.
Children, particularly those with a black American parent, routinely suffer harsh discrimination by fellow students, said Yi Kyung-kyune, director of Pearl S. Buck International Korea, a group that supports mixed-heritage youth. Because of the pressure, the middle school dropout rate for "Amerasians" -- children with American and Korean heritage -- is more than 17 percent, Yi said.
The group says about 2,000 Amerasians in this country suffer severe discrimination along with another estimated 1,000 children of mixed Korean and Asian descent, or "Kosians." Many also have challenges at home, with 83 percent being raised by single mothers, who are often jobless or only work part time.
Another example showing, as someone once noted that the world is, indeed, flat.
Tags: NFL, racial, Art Shell, Hines Ward