Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for by N. Jeremi Duru

By N. Jeremi Duru

Following the NFL's desegregation in 1946, possibilities grew to become more and more abundant for African American players--but now not African American coaches. even though significant League Baseball and the NBA made growth during this regard through the years, the NFL's head coaches have been virtually completely white up until eventually the mid-1990s. Advancing the Ball chronicles the crusade of former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman John Wooten to correct this fallacious and undo a long time of discriminatory head trainer hiring practices--an initiative that eventually bore fruit while he joined forces with lawyers Cyrus Mehri and Johnnie Cochran. including a couple of allies, the triumvirate galvanized the NFL's African American assistant coaches to face jointly for equivalent chance and confident the league to enact the "Rooney Rule," which stipulates that each staff needs to interview at the very least one minority candidate while trying to find a brand new head trainer. In doing so, they spurred a circulation that will considerably effect the NFL and, in all likelihood, the state. that includes an impassioned foreword by means of trainer Tony Dungy, Advancing the Ball bargains an eye-opening, first-hand examine how a couple of devoted contributors initiated a sea swap in America's preferred recreation and additional a unprecedented new bankruptcy to the civil rights tale.

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Extra resources for Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL

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After receiving their medals, as the American national anthem blared, they raised black-gloved fists to protest the racial inequality and poverty African Americans suffered back home. Instantly they were pariahs. The United States Olympic Committee promptly expelled both men from the team and sent them back to the United States, where they endured decades of abuse. Between Johnson’s struggle and the sprinters’ stand, and up through Harper’s battle with the Red Sox, many African American sports professionals challenged racism in ways big and small, to their detriment.

He cheered Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodgers for breaking baseball’s color barrier and jeered the team’s opponents for their segregationist fervor. Even as a child, he believed the games Robinson played were not merely athletic contests. They were social statements. Mehri and Cochran both knew that forcing the NFL to come to terms with its dearth of African American head coaches would be a social statement as well. Millions of Americans spent their autumn Sundays glued to the television set watching NFL games and familiarizing themselves with their favorite team’s players and coaches.

And Mehri was right. Cochran was a product of the African American struggle, and although few in the public space seemed to acknowledge it, he had decades earlier committed himself to ensuring a less onerous struggle for black America’s future generations. Cochran’s great-grandparents were born into slavery. Although they lived to experience emancipation, they also lived to recognize, as did their contemporaries, that emancipation was not the same as freedom. Racial terror and profound economic oppression, it turned out, would indefinitely extend African American subordination in spite of the Thirteenth Amendment’s promise that slavery was no more.

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