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Ron Rivera: Redskins First (non-interim) Head Coach of Color

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Posted (edited)
I know for most of us all we care about is winning and it doesn’t matter what color a coach or executive is or where there families are from.
 
That is true, but what is also true is that this is important and should be recognized. It’s big for me as a Redskin fan and as a Person of Color myself.
 
There are not a lot of people of color (Hispanic/Latino Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and others) in positions of power in the NFL. So when one like Ron gets this level of power anywhere it’s a big deal. The fact it’s with the Skins makes me proud on various fronts.
 
For those that don’t know Ron is of Puerto Rican and Mexican heritage.
¡Enseñales de que estas hecho! #proudredskin #proudhispanic

https://theundefeated.com/features/ron-rivera-hiring-in-washington-could-be-a-game-changer-in-nfl/
 

Ron Rivera hiring in Washington could be a game-changer in NFL

If Rivera succeeds in new gig, he could blaze a new trail for coaches of color

By Jason Reid
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ASHBURN, Va. – The latest reboot of Washington’s NFL franchise is like none before, with a head coach of color empowered to lead the team. And if Ron Rivera succeeds where many others have failed, he could prove to be a game-changer.

 

Owner Daniel Snyder pursued Rivera, the first non-interim head coach of color in franchise history in the modern era. And he did it as much to cleanse Washington’s toxic culture as to win football games, having apparently learned the hard way that success on game day is inexorably linked to the environment at work throughout the week that precedes it. Considering Rivera’s credentials (he’s a two-time Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year), it’s not surprising that Snyder has entrusted him with such a heavy lift. Still, the move is noteworthy because coaches of color have rarely climbed so high in the history of a league commemorating its 100th season.

Rivera, who led the Carolina Panthers to an NFC title, becomes the undisputed leader of Washington’s entire football operation. Regardless of how responsibilities and titles are assigned in the club’s restructured front office, what’s most important is this: Rivera will make the final call on, well, everything. He’ll have both contractual authority and a mandate from Snyder to right a ship that has been rudderless.

 

Rivera’s first task is to undo the damage caused by former team president and general manager Bruce Allen, whose 10-year tenure only strengthens the well-founded belief that Washington is among professional sports’ most poorly run franchises. Allen lacked an understanding of what it takes to build a championship culture.

Snyder replaced a tone-deaf administrator with someone who has thrived at the game’s highest heights as a player, assistant coach and head coach. Along the way, Rivera learned what it takes to unite an organization in pursuit of sustained success.

 

Rod Graves of the Fritz Pollard Alliance has watched the process unfold. Graves is in his first year as the primary decision-maker for the group that advises the NFL on matters of diversity and inclusion and which assists the league in enforcing the Rooney Rule. But 35 years ago, he worked for the Chicago Bears when they selected the former University of California linebacker in the 1984 draft. It didn’t take long for Graves, who previously served as an NFL general manager and a high-ranking league official, to realize that Rivera is a leader with a commanding presence, who others would eagerly follow.

“Ron is an outstanding coach, but he’s so much more than that,” Graves said. “He’s very aware of what needs to go on in an organization, and not only from a coaching level, to win. He’s just very much in tune with what you have to build, the environment you have to create, to accomplish what you want to accomplish.”

 

At the end of the 2018 season, there were eight head-coaching vacancies. Seven of those positions went to white coaches. Compared to the previous hiring cycle, this one is already off to a smashing start with Rivera’s quick comeback. Assistant coaches of color seek positive reinforcement about their potential mobility within the league and Rivera’s new gig helps.

After a long, successful run as the Panthers’ on-field leader, Rivera was fired with four games remaining this season. In 2015, the Panthers went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl. Rivera, who held the position since 2011, was selected the Associated Press’ coach of the year after the 2013 and ’15 seasons.

The last two seasons, however, quarterback Cam Newton was often ineffective or sidelined because of injuries. It was time for Rivera to move on, and he moved into a situation where he’ll wield – and there’s no sugarcoating this – an uncommon amount of power in the NFL for someone who isn’t white. The significance for the league of Rivera having so much authority in Washington isn’t lost on Graves.

“For many reasons, it’s very important,” Graves said. “It makes a humongous statement about the leadership capabilities of men of color. To invest confidence in that type of leadership and role, and to give it to a person of color, simply states that people of color can do the job just as effectively as anyone else. Anyone looking at the situation can clearly see the significance of what has happened.”

 

To be sure, in its recent history, the NFL has had influential head coaches of color. Hall of Famer Tony Dungy, for starters. Still firmly entrenched with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin may have done his best work in his 13th season. Rivera, too, had significant juice with Carolina.

In Rivera’s new position, however, he has the authority to operate with autonomy, if he so chooses. In terms of NFL coaches of color wielding so much clout in an organization, the position Tom Flores once occupied with the Seattle Seahawks seems most comparable.

 

 The first minority head coach to win a Super Bowl (he accomplished the feat twice with the Oakland Raiders), Flores in 1989 became the president and general manager of the Seahawks. He later returned to the field before being fired after three sub-.500 seasons. That brings us back to Rivera.

 

If Rivera thrives at the top of Washington’s organizational chart, his success could prompt other owners to hire and empower more coaches and executives of color. Chris Grier of the Miami Dolphins is the only African American general manager, so there’s even more room for improvement on the executive front than in coaching.

Of course, it won’t be easy for Rivera, the seventh non-interim head coach Snyder has hired. The franchise is 142-193-1 under Snyder, who has been known to meddle in football decisions despite telling other coaches he would stay out of their way. (Ask Mike Shanahan about that.)

“It’s a big job and he can handle it,” Graves said. “He’s going to do a great job.”

Washington’s NFL team has a new boss. He’s unlike all who came before him. And if Rivera can actually fix this mess, he could blaze a path for others at a time when one is sorely needed.

Edited by COWBOY-KILLA-
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Yawn....wake me when women start becoming head coaches(no disrespect to you cowboykilla...i frickin love you here)..

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@bakedtater1 In the NFL, advancement for POC is difficult given the good ole boys network, Baby steps. Unfortunately, It’ll probably be quite a while before we see a woman as Head Coach. Gotta recognize the baby steps until then. 
 

This is a win for all minority’s trying to advance in the NFL. 

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11 minutes ago, COWBOY-KILLA- said:

@bakedtater1 In the NFL, advancement for POC is difficult given the good ole boys network, Baby steps. Unfortunately, It’ll probably be quite a while before we see a woman as Head Coach. Gotta recognize the baby steps until then. 
 

This is a win for all minority’s trying to advance in the NFL. 

Completely agree here..what's poc?

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3 minutes ago, bakedtater1 said:

Completely agree here..what's poc?

Person of color. 
I would hope in this day and age that color has absolutely nothing to do with hiring. As a business owner myself I could care less about color, and more if you can get the job done for me. 

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Posted (edited)

@Acworth skins fan Right, I totally agree, but the fact is it the first time the skins have hired one As their Head Coach and Organizational decision maker in 88 years.
 

It’s a significant development for the NFL.  It’s more about the power he has that is a big deal for other POC’s and for how other owners view POC’s for executive roles.
 

 

Edited by COWBOY-KILLA-
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What color is he... ? My mother was Lebanese and she and her siblings were darker.

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@ntotoro it’s not about what shade of color they are, But ok✌🏽, I didn’t make up the term. Thanks for the contribution. You would qualify as a person of color, regardless of your hue..!

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id prefer to focus on his merits as a coach, leader, and person than the color of his skin, but thats just me

 

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Some seriously garbage insensitive comments in this thread. It's a huge deal, when so many players are of color and yet coaching and FOs are predominantly white, it's an issue. I'm really happy that weve hired Rivera for this, considering how much this franchise has stood on the wrong side of that.  Its important. 

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1 hour ago, ggarriso said:

id prefer to focus on his merits as a coach, leader, and person than the color of his skin, but thats just me

 

 

That's cool, it's nice for those of us lucky enough to be able to brush aside issues like this. That's a privilege some have, to not even feel the need to consider race on a daily basis. For others, it's an inspirational thing and helpful to see, and not something to be discarded because it's uncomfortable to address or just not important to you. If it's not that for you, it doesn't really matter. It's not about what you'd rather focus on, it's about others. 

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1 minute ago, ConnSKINS26 said:

 

That's cool, it's nice for those of us lucky enough to be able to brush aside issues like this. That's a privilege some have, to not even feel the need to consider race on a daily basis. 

 

Yes, how callous of me to focus not on the color of ones skin but on their character, success, and merit! Such privilege indeed!

 

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@Koolblue13 I honestly was not sure what to expect from creating this. But it has shown kinda exactly why the league and other organizations have instituted the Rooney Rule and others like it. People don’t give a damn if it doesn’t directly affect them. The status quo will never change in this country if we don’t help each other out.
 

They Either have their heads in the sand regarding race, are uncomfortable broaching the subject which is totally ok, or are downright against POC’s getting a seat at the table.

 

But it’s all good man, all I was hoping is Shine a little light on it. And say Right on Skins for changing there own historical team narrative. And give a shout out to RR for making it this far. ✌🏽

 

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14 minutes ago, Koolblue13 said:

Some seriously garbage insensitive comments in this thread. It's a huge deal, when so many players are of color and yet coaching and FOs are predominantly white, it's an issue. I'm really happy that weve hired Rivera for this, considering how much this franchise has stood on the wrong side of that.  Its important. 

It really is. 

 

I think what some people don’t realize is that sometimes intelligence, determination and character are not enough if you don’t look a certain way. 

 

Its changing. But slowly. 

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, ggarriso said:

 

Yes, how callous of me to focus not on the color of ones skin but on their character, success, and merit! Such privilege indeed!

 

 

The vast majority of coaches in the NFL are white. Do you think it's due to their vast abundance of "character, success, and merit" as you say in comparison to everyone else? Or do you think perhaps there's a systemic reason that you'd rather not address in your hurry to pull the old "I don't care if you're white, black, or purple" nonsense that minimizes issues many of us don't want to face. Race is important to those who have it factor into their everyday life experience. Yes, it is a privilege to never have to think about race in relation to your place in the world or interactions with others. It's uncomfortable, but this is an opportunity for you to practice some empathy. Will you take it? 

Edited by ConnSKINS26
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Tailgate in 3, 2, 1 ......

11 hours ago, COWBOY-KILLA- said:

@bakedtater1 People of Color.. (Hispanic/Latino Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and others)

Northern Italians?

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1 hour ago, COWBOY-KILLA- said:

@Koolblue13 I honestly was not sure what to expect from creating this. But it has shown kinda exactly why the league and other organizations have instituted the Rooney Rule and others like it. People don’t give a damn if it doesn’t directly affect them. The status quo will never change in this country if we don’t help each other out.
 

They Either have their heads in the sand regarding race, are uncomfortable broaching the subject which is totally ok, or are downright against POC’s getting a seat at the table.

 

But it’s all good man, all I was hoping is Shine a little light on it. And say Right on Skins for changing there own historical team narrative. And give a shout out to RR for making it this far. ✌🏽

 

For some reason, white dudes feel attacked really easily. I live in the caribbean. There are symbols of slavery everywhere. I"ve learned so freaking much.

53 minutes ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

It really is. 

 

I think what some people don’t realize is that sometimes intelligence, determination and character are not enough if you don’t look a certain way. 

 

Its changing. But slowly. 

Absolutely right. It's not a battle I personally do not have to fight. I'm pretty much white. But I absolutely respect it and when someone of color tells me that it's important, I acknowledge that.

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As far as him being Puerto Rican, that's fairly significant also, because of the way they've been treated the last few years. Hurricane Maria hit us, before slamming right through them. No state would ever be treated like PR was and it was because it's prodominently PoC. It's still destroyed. It might be a sore subject because I'm right here, but imagine if those affected by Katrina was allowed to lay in ruins 2 years later.

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So a man who is a shade darker than an albino is now a man of "color??" 

Always someone trying to interject race into something!!! Just look at all the potential pro bowl CB's who are passed over because they are white!! What a shame!! smh

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@THE HAMMER'IN HOG Wow Buddy! I didn't create the term, I'm sorry if it bothers you. Call him what you want.. a minority, a latino/hispanic american, just a dude even. Still doesn't change the fact we haven't hired one of "these" men in 88 years and that was the whole point here. To recognize the importance of it for the Skins and the man himself.  🙉 I'll just 🙊 on this..

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