Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles was once praised by means of conservatives after scolding the media for “making a big deal” about race when a White reporter from ESPN pressed him about range.
“The minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well,” Bowles stated.
Bowles, who’s Black, was once taking questions from the click on Wednesday forward of the Buccaneers’ upcoming sport in opposition to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead of asking about soccer, one reporter identified that the Steelers even have a Black coach.
“You and Mike Tomlin are the few Black head coaches in the league, I wonder what your relationship is like with him and your thoughts on Steve Wilks joining that,” a reporter requested. (Wilks was once lately named the intervening time head coach for the Carolina Panthers to transform the fourth present Black NFL head coach. Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans is the opposite.)
Bowles stated he has an excellent dating with Tomlin, however they don’t “look at what color we are” when their groups face off.
“I have a lot of very good White friends that coach in this league as well, and I don’t think it’s a big deal. As far as us coaching against each other, I think it’s normal. Wilks got an opportunity to do a good job, hopefully he does it, and we coach ball. We don’t look at color,” Bowles stated.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine, who’s White, pressed Bowles, asking if he “understands that representation matters” around the league.
“You have aspiring coaches and football players, they see you guys — they see someone that looks like them, maybe grew up like them,” Laine stated. “That has to mean something.”
“When you say, ‘see you guys,’ and, ‘look like them,’ and ‘grew up like them,’ it means that we’re oddballs to begin with. And I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well,” Bowles stated.
OutKick founder Clay Travis blasted ESPN’s Laine for “lecturing” Bowles about race.
“A white woman at ESPN telling a black NFL head coach why his race matters is a perfect distillation of the broken sports media culture ESPN has created. It’s all left wing identity politics and cancel culture there. Good for Todd Bowles for his answer,” Travis wrote.
“Good for Todd Bowles. ESPN offered the race-bait and he refused to take it,” OutKick’s Ian Miller added. “Bowles is entirely correct; endlessly pointing out the race of black head coaches makes their job about their skin color, not their performance… but that’s what modern identity politics is all about, putting race above any other considerations. Trying to achieve ‘equity,’ instead of equality.”
Miller — who wrote that Laine’s question was once “racist” — is grateful Bowles took the time to reply to the question in truth.
“He has good relationships with coaches of all races and that focusing on skin color does nothing to normalize black head coaches,” Miller stated.
Many others have in a similar way praised Bowles:
Laine spoke back to complaint of her question on Twitter.
“Let me clarify something…I wasn’t telling Todd Bowles how he should think or feel about racial representation. I was seeking clarity because his response to the initial question from another reporter Wednesday differed quite a bit from this response March 31 when he was hired,” she wrote to accompany pictures of his introductory press convention when he expressed that “it means a lot” to get employed after being requested about range.
“My line of questioning was directly in line with Todd Bowles’ own comments that day. I would never tell someone whose life experience is different from my own and whose shoes I haven’t walked in, how to feel,” Laine persevered. “My job is to seek clarity and to gain understanding.”
Bowles is in his 2d stint as head coach after 3 years as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator.
Bowles was once fired as head coach of the New York Jets in 2018 after 4 seasons that ended in no playoff berths.
Fox News’ David Rutz and Joe Morgan contributed to this record.
OutKick and Fox News proportion not unusual possession.