Panthers owner David Tepper wants to end ‘old guys’ network’

Team owner David Tepper introduced Frank Reich as the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Team owner David Tepper introduced Frank Reich as the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
Picture: Getty Images

David Tepper he says all the right things – he just doesn’t do them. The Carolina Panthers The owner made waves this week when he insisted he was doing his part in the crackdown The NFL’s “Old Boys’ Network” wealthy white owners who rarely employ blacks and minorities in positions of power, especially as head coaches. Tepper’s comments came after he hired Frank Reich — a white coach — to replace the team’s former interim coach Steve Wilks — the black coach who took over for Matt Rhuleanother white coach.

Rich white dudes love to talk about themselves.

“We have probably the most diverse executive team in the NFL right now. We are probably the minority of white people on our executive team right now. That’s where it starts. It’s America,” Tepper boasted proudly.

Tepper explained that the Panthers’ front office includes his wife, who serves as the chief administrative officer, along with three other women in senior positions, the chief administrative officer (Kristi Coleman), the senior vice president (Kisha Smith, black), and the general counsel (Tanya Taylor). , also black.)

Every time a white guy like Tepper is quick to point something like this out, he never realizes that being able to count the number of minorities in your circle is not a good look.

“I’m not racist. You see, I have three black friends!” — Old white saying.

“How to break that network of old guys? How to stop this process? You break the process by trying to get the best possible people in every role you can fill,” he said. “Whether it’s new [general counsel] we hired, who happens to be African-American. Whether it’s Frank Reich, who is white.”

Tepper almost pulls a “Jerry Jones”

The crux of the problem with Tepper is that he almost pulls a “Jerry Jones” on us. Too many people got caught up in it the infamous Jones photo in 1957 in Arkansas among a crowd of white students, “who stood on the front lines of one of the darkest segregation conflicts in Little Rock,” from Washington Post storyand not what it was about — because it focused on Jones’ lack of progressiveness in diversity despite all the power he wields in the NFL.

Jerry Jones never hired a black head coach. Tepper has never hired a black head coach. See the link?

What makes matters worse is that the man who claims to be a diversity warrior on the mean streets of Injustice Boulevard from the start told us that Wilks never had a chance to be the Panthers’ full-time head coach, even before he went 6-6 after as Rhule started the season 1-4.

“He’s in a position to be considered for that position,” Tepper said of Wilks in October. “I spoke to Steve, nothing has been promised, but if he’s doing an amazing job, he has to be considered.”

“Amazing job.” Think about that for a moment when you realize that Tepper moved the goal posts for Wilks before the game even started. Ironically, Reich went 3-5-1 in his final season coaching the Indianapolis Colts before being fired.

Does that sound “amazing” to you?

If Tepper actually wanted to fight injustice in the NFL and show his colleagues the right way to do it, he would have hired Wilks and given him plenty of time to see if he could turn things around in Carolina — the same way most of these owners work with white coaches which they like to hire. Doing the right thing is not difficult, you just need to not be a coward. The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a black coach since 2007 and have yet to suffer a losing season during the Mike Tomlin era.

See, it’s not that hard.

If the NFL’s “old boys” network” ever ends, it will happen when more black coaches are hired and white owners start lobbying their colleagues to change their minds when it comes to ownership voting — since the owners have never elected a black person to own the team.

This is something David Tepper knows all about. When was approved to purchase the Carolina Panthers in 2018, took place at the annual meetings of the owners. But do you know what also happened that week at those meetings? The the owners voted to implement an anti-kneeling national anthem policywhich was something straight out of the “old guys” Network’s playbook. How do I know? Because I was there when it happened.

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