The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had a somewhat rocky start to the NFL season, with wins over the Cowboys, Saints and Falcons, but disappointing losses to the Chiefs and Colts in head coach Todd Bowles first season at the helm after replacing Bruce Arians.
With a matchup this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers, you’d assume that game preparation, matchup issues, or thoughts on the season would, in theory, be top of mind for reporters asking questions.
Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles spoke to the media recently about the game, with one reporter asking what it meant for him to coach against another black head coach in Mike Tomlin.
Bowles responded by saying he didn’t think it was a “big deal,” and that he and Tomlin “don’t look at color when [they] coach against each other.”
Bowles continued, “I don’t think it’s a big deal as far as us coaching each other, I think it’s normal.”
But another reporter — who appears to be ESPN’s Jenna Laine, a white woman — continued to press the issue with him and even condescendingly says, “You understand that representation matters, too, right?”
Then, she implies that all Black people have the same background, saying that when young, aspiring Black coaches and players “see someone who looks like them, maybe grew up like them, that has to mean something.”
Bowles not only wasn’t having it, he fired right back.
“When you say ‘you guys,’ and ‘look like them’ and ‘grew up like them,'” Bowles said, “it means that we’re oddballs to begin with.”
Then, Bowles delivered the knockout blow.
“I think the minute you guys (media members) stop making a big deal about it, everyone else will as well.”
Good for Todd Bowles. ESPN offered the race-bait and he refused to take it.
OutKick founder Clay Travis pointed out that the faux-outrage is entirely driven by the identity politics and woke sports media culture at ESPN.
Laine, who was rightfully called out for her leading and — frankly — racist question, has since turned off comments for this tweet:
Todd Bowles is a football coach, not a “Black football coach”
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.
Even after he initially shot down that line of questioning, a white reporter tried to tell him that it “has to” mean something, because they want it to mean something.
They refuse to accept that not every person sees the world through their distorted lens, or that all black sports figures think alike.
Thankfully, Todd Bowles answered the question honestly; that he has good relationships with coaches of all races and that focusing on skin color does nothing to normalize black head coaches.