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Whitlock: Doug Williams, Art Briles, and Grambling demonstrate the folly of anti-white discrimination as a solution

Op-ed
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Grambling State University fixed its Art Briles problem. Late Friday, Tigers head coach Hue Jackson promoted his assistant head coach, John Simon, to offensive coordinator, moving on from the Briles controversy that rankled famous alum Doug Williams, ESPN host Stephen A. Smith, and a large portion of blue-check sports Twitter.

Briles is persona non grata in college football because in 2015, Baylor University scapegoated him and five black football players for a campus-wide sexual assault crisis. According to Briles’ critics, he did not respond harshly and swiftly enough when a small number of players were accused (not convicted) of sexual misconduct.

Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, publicly objected to his alma mater hiring Briles.

So far, Williams hasn’t commented on Simon’s promotion. In February 2021, Memphis placed Simon on administrative leave after a Title IX sexual misconduct complaint was filed against him. A few weeks later, the school dismissed Simon. He denied the allegation.

Grambling is a historically black university. Briles is white. Simon is black.

Williams, Smith, and blue-check sports Twitter appear to have disparate standards when evaluating and commenting on Hue Jackson’s choice of offensive coordinators, depending on the race of the coach.

In some circles, they call that racism. Some people might even call it systemic racism. Williams, Smith, and blue-check sports Twitter used their power to disenfranchise Art Briles based on race. A smart, righteous, freedom-fighting lawyer – someone like Ben Crump – will likely advise Briles to file a racial discrimination lawsuit.

Oh, that’s right, black people can’t be racist. We have no power.

Doug Williams and Stephen A. Smith couldn’t conspire to discriminate against Art Briles. No way. They couldn’t pressure the president and athletic director of Grambling to back away from blessing Briles’ hire.

There’s no system in place designed to silence, bully, and cancel Art Briles. It’s just a coincidence that ESPN and virtually every other sports media platform talked or wrote about Briles incessantly on Monday and Tuesday last week and then fell silent when Briles spoke for himself on Thursday. Briles consented to a two-hour interview on Thursday. Corporate media and the blogosphere ignored him.

Coincidence or racist collusion?

You might wonder why I’m so passionate about defending Art Briles. My critics believe it’s because I want to garner support among white men. They argue that my point of view depends on the audience I’m pursuing and that I’ve pivoted to appealing strictly to political conservatives.

They’re wrong. I have not pivoted. I’ve doubled down. From the outset, my career has been dedicated to being a thorn in the side of bigotry and racism. I’m a child of Martin Luther King’s dream and content-of-character belief.

The political left has betrayed Dr. King’s legacy in virtually every way. They’ve abandoned religion, and they’ve embraced racial discrimination under the pretense that it will cure past discrimination. It’s the equivalent of arguing that gluttony is the cure for anorexia.

Williams and corporate media have forced Grambling into behaving in a racist manner. It sickens me.

Last week, when I interviewed Briles, I had forgotten that Grambling fired Williams as its head coach in 2013. Since I interviewed Briles, Grambling alumni have made it a point to remind me via DM of Williams’ failed second stint as the school’s head coach.

He was fired in September, two games into the season.

In Williams’ first stint (1998-2003) replacing Eddie Robinson, Williams compiled a 52-18 record, winning three straight SWAC championships. Williams’ second tour (2011-2013) did not go well. After a promising 8-4 initial season, Williams and the program fell into chaos. In 2012, the Tigers finished 1-10 overall and 0-9 in conference play. His team started 0-2 in 2013.

The school fired its most famous alum two games into the season. During an interview on the NFL Network, Williams said he was fired because the school believed a fundraising group – Friends of Football and Grambling Legends – inappropriately distributed money exclusively to the football program.

The Grambling alumni who have reached out to me say that is not why Williams was let go. I will not share their contention.

But let’s think this through. Does a school like Grambling fire its sainted son two games into the season over a fundraising group? What football coach gets fired in September because of the accounting errors of boosters? That’s a problem that can be fixed in the off season … unless the money was spent on something highly salacious.

Doug Williams is bitter at his alma mater. He wants Grambling to fail. He’s using the racism of corporate media to sabotage Grambling and Hue Jackson.

So a black school and a black head coach are the victims of anti-white racism. Racism is not a solution. It’s always the problem. That’s why we should fight it no matter the perpetrator or target
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