Deion Sanders Speaks Out About the NFL’s Minority Hiring Practices

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Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes watches as his team warms up

Deion Sanders tends to be, shall we say, brutally honest. The Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback has ripped everything from the Pro Bowl and the NFL draft process to the Dallas Cowboys’ systemic issues.

When he’s not busy coaching the Colorado Buffaloes, Sanders is more than happy to discuss NFL news and trends. As one might expect, the NFL legend had plenty to say about the league’s minority hiring practices. And, as one might also expect, Sanders isn’t entirely pleased with recent events.

Deion Sanders admittedly has mixed feelings about the NFL’s new minority hiring practices

To prove the league itself shouldn’t be held accountable for white men holding 27 of a possible 32 head coaching jobs, the NFL introduced a new minority hiring plan in 2022. Every franchise, even those with a Black head coach, must hire an offensive assistant coach who is either a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority.

Although social media seemingly widely praised the initiative, Sanders took a different approach. In an Instagram video, the 55-year-old admitted his mixed feelings about the rules, specifically the idea that teams are required to have a minority assistant as a means of checking a box.

“I like it,” Sanders stated. “I don’t know if I love it, but I like it. Because I don’t like anyone forcing anyone’s hand, but for opportunity, I guess sometimes we have to.”

Sanders included a lengthy caption underneath the video. He wrote, “We should never desire what we’re not willing to give & the search for equality must be displayed at all times on & off the fields of life.” He also wrote the time will come where Black people will own NFL franchises. As of June 2022, the league has never had a Black majority owner.

Only two people of color, the Buffalo Bills’ Kim Pegula and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Shad Khan, are people of color. Khan was born in Pakistan, and Pegula, who co-owns the Bills with her husband, Terry, was born in South Korea.

Sanders said he wants to see college football try learning from the NFL

The lack of Black head football coaches isn’t limited to the NFL. According to Sports Highlights USA, Black coaches make up 11.45% of head coaches at 131 NCAA FBS programs as of December 2022.

Sanders, who joined the University of Colorado Boulder football program on December 3, 2022, believes the NCAA should follow in the NFL’s footsteps and add a similar rule to ensure more minority candidates have an opportunity to climb the coaching ladder.

“College football should mirror pros in all facets. Rules, the thought processes of the game, and hiring as well. Just imagine if all of college football were mandated to hire a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority as an offensive assistant coach … that would be awesome. I would love to see this implemented in college football. I don’t like nothing forced, but I’ll take it.”

Deion Sanders

Sanders said the rule should also apply to Caucasians when they would be the minority.

Football fans might not always agree with Sanders’ commentary or personality, but he certainly has the right outlook here. In a time when more media members and football fans want to hold entities responsible for the lack of Black head coaches, perhaps the NFL and NCAA might want to call Sanders’ personal line.

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