After Matt Rhule's firing, Steve Wilks steps into unwinnable battle too many Black coaches have fought

Oct 11, 2022

Not long after the Carolina Panthers announced they had fired head coach Matt Rhule partway through the third year of his failed but highly lucrative tenure (he earned roughly $5.6 million for each of his 11 wins in 38 tries), the team announced that Wilks, the secondary coach and defensive pass game coordinator, would take over as interim head coach.

Wilks is now the 15th Black man to be an interim head coach in the NFL since 1990, or about 30 percent of the interim stints in the league over that time. Black coaches have gotten a chance to be a full-time head coach just 13 percent of the time over the same period, in a league where roughly two-third of players are Black.

It's a depressingly familiar situation: A white coach steers his team straight into the iceberg, and a Black coach is tasked with trying to keep it afloat for the remainder of a season, no matter how much water it has taken on. In that way, however, NFL teams are simply continuing the American tradition of relegating Black people to little more than the help, hired to clean homes in neighborhoods they weren't allowed to live in or paid to mop the floors in schools they weren't allowed to learn in.

Source: Yahoo Sports