President Joe Biden called out the National Football League‘s (NFL) hiring practices in an interview that aired Sunday, saying it’s “just some generic human decency” to have more diverse leaders in the league.
“The whole idea that a league that is made up of so many athletes of color, as well as so diverse, that there’s not enough African American qualified coaches ‘to manage these NFL teams,’ it just seems to me that it’s a standard that they’d want to live up to,” Biden said during an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt.
He added, “It’s not a requirement of law, but it’s a requirement I think of just some generic decency.”
In an exclusive interview with @LesterHoltNBC, President Biden shares his message as the US continues to deal with the impacts of the pandemic.
Plus, Biden weighs in on allegations of racist hiring practices in the NFL, and shares his thoughts on tonight's Super Bowl matchup. pic.twitter.com/FY4k3Ox0vl
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) February 13, 2022
The president’s remarks come during a controversial time for the NFL. The league is at the center of a class-action lawsuit filed by former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. Flores is accusing the league and several teams of discriminatory hiring practices.
“I think it should be held to a reasonable standard,” Biden said when asked what standards should the NFL be held in terms of diversity. “And, you know, the commissioner pointed out, they haven’t lived up to what they committed to, they haven’t lived up to being open about hiring more minorities to run teams, and whether or not, you know, Goodell says they’re gonna take a look at what, whether they can meet the standard.”
Biden is referring to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell‘s comments on Wednesday where he said the NFL “fell short … by a lot” on hiring Black and minority coaches.
In the NFL, where the players are predominantly people of color, only one Black head coach leads any of the 31 teams currently employing a head coach. There is only one team officially without a head coach right now. There were nine head coaching vacancies during this last hiring cycle.