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Ex-NFL star accuses team of 'using' black coaches to lose

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

Ex-NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III spoke out against the Houston Texans' firing of their head coach, Lovie Smith, saying in a comment posted to Twitter that the team firing two black coaches in back-to-back years shouldn't "sit right" with anyone.

"The Houston Texans have fired Lovie Smith after 1 year. Using 2 Black Head Coaches to tank and then firing them after 1 year shouldn’t sit right with anyone," the commentator posted.

The Houston organization fired Coach David Culley in early 2022 after winning just four games, then fired Lovie Smith in early 2023 after just a three-win season.

The former Rookie of the Year agreed and disagreed with some fan replies regarding the argument surrounding the race of the coaches, responding to one comment in relation to the Denver Broncos firing their head coach, Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett was employed by the organization for just one year as well, after sporting a 5-12 record.

"Nathaniel Hackett getting fired in less than one season - no problem?" a fan asked.

"Hackett was fired for the team underperforming MASSIVELY after trading for Russell Wilson. Roster was SUPER BOWL Contender level like the Rams and Bucs were after getting Stafford and Brady. Texans hired Culley and Lovie knowing the roster was bad, then fired them for being bad," Griffin replied.

An NFL reporter for USA Today echoed Griffin's sentiments and emphasized race in regard to the firings, saying, "Neither David Culley or Lovie Smith deserved to be fired. The Texans put two Black coaches in unwinnable situations and didn't even give them an opportunity to succeed."

"To make this a race issue is lazy," says sports writer and podcaster Gary Sheffield Jr.

"At some point we watch a situation unfold in the NFL and know how we can spin it and just choose not to. I like a lot of what RGIII puts out but there’s no question he’s ignoring the fact that Jeff Saturday, who I’m quite sure was born white, in Atlanta, was hired as an interim Head Coach to move the Colts into position to hire another coach next season," Sheffield added.

Sheffield was referring to the Indianapolis Colts' head coach, Jeff Saturday, who was widely criticized at the beginning of the 2022 season for being hired to simply coach a team that management knew would perform poorly. Saturday faced questions about his qualifications, despite being a Super Bowl champion, with his race brought into question at the time as well.

USA Today, MSN and SportsCasting all published articles stating that non-white coaches were perhaps better qualified for the role.

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