The NFL’s newly adopted “Vincent Rule” will likely prevent Eric Bieniemy from replacing Anthony Lynn.
Bieniemy is the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator. Some football experts believe he’s the most qualified head-coaching candidate this offseason. Bieniemy is black.
Anthony Lynn is the Los Angeles Chargers head coach. Some football experts believe Lynn is the worst head coach in football not named Adam Gase. Many football experts argued that Lynn’s coaching performance in Buffalo last weekend demonstrates why he must be fired. Lynn is black.
Most people reading the tea leaves believe the Los Angeles Chargers job is the best opening in football. The Chargers have their quarterback of the future — Justin Herbert. They have a go-to receiver — Keenan Allen. And they have potentially the best defensive player in the league — pass rusher Joey Bosa.
With the right head coach, the Chargers can win immediately.
The “Vincent Rule” is the biggest obstacle standing between Eric Bieniemy and the best head-coaching opening in football.
The Vincent Rule is the half-baked, counterproductive idea of Roger Goodell flack Troy Vincent. The rule, passed a month ago, grants two compensatory third-round draft picks to the team that has a black assistant coach hired by an opponent to become a head coach.
You follow? If the Chargers hire Bieniemy, the NFL is going to give the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs two third-round picks. The Chargers, Kansas City’s AFC West rival, would strengthen the Chiefs’ draft by hiring Bieniemy.
The Vincent Rule is really stupid. I pointed this out in an earlier column. The potential scenario with the Chargers highlights the utter stupidity of the Vincent Rule. It harms Bieniemy. That’s why several black NFL assistant coaches complained about the rule to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The coaches told Schefter they were blindsided by the rule. They were bothered that they were not consulted about the new rule.
The rule serves one person — Troy Vincent.
Vincent wears the title of Executive Vice President of Football Operations. It’s a big title with lots of responsibilities. His main area of alleged “expertise” is helping the league manage the racial division promoted by the mainstream media and social-media influencers such as Colin Kaepernick.
For lack of better description, Vincent is a Negro wrangler/overseer. His job is to manage the black players’ relationship with white ownership. He’s football’s Al Sharpton. Vincent is the architect of the NFL’s Black Lives Matter sloganeering.
Bottom line: Vincent is in charge of the NFL committee to “End Racism.”
Who could be against ending racism? No one. Can it be accomplished? No. Especially not now when racism is simply an opinion. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy impersonated the comedian Gallagher and smashed watermelons in front of his team. Shannon Sharpe had the opinion McCarthy was racist. Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend shot a police officer, and the police responded by firing back, killing Taylor. The mainstream media and Twitter influencers have expressed the opinion that the police were motivated by racism.
What’s the saying? Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.
You’d have to end opinions to end racism. It’s not going to happen. Which means Troy Vincent is always going to have a high-paying job as the chairman of the NFL’s End Racism campaign.
Vincent prepared for and earned the job of NFL overseer by serving as the president of the NFLPA under executive director Gene Upshaw. When Upshaw passed away in 2008, Vincent was unable to ascend to the executive director position because he was dogged by allegations that he undermined Upshaw by secretly working with Goodell.
A year after the NFLPA launched an investigation into Vincent’s activities, Roger Goodell and the NFL named Vincent senior vice president of player engagement.
The Vincent Rule is his grandest accomplishment. It’s his attempt to fix the diversity-in-coaching problem the mainstream media have defined as proof of the NFL’s pervasive racism. The mainstream media argue that any problem facing black people is rooted in white racism. The media believe the improvement of white people is the key to the improvement of black people.
I reject that. It’s as stupid as the Vincent Rule.
Troy Vincent, like a lot of liberals, wants to fix the finish line and ignore the starting line. You fix the finish line by improving the starting line. If you want more black NFL head coaches, you have to push more black football players to become graduate assistants at the collegiate level. That’s the starting line, the main pipeline for college and NFL head coaches.
The reality is black athletes are less likely to pursue a graduate assistant job. The pay is horrible. Many of us are the first members of our family to graduate college. We did not attend college to earn $18,000 a year for two years. Also, unfortunately, another handful of us leave college with a child. We simply cannot afford to become graduate assistants.
Let’s add the biggest obstacle impeding us from joining the coaching starting line — our unique, and quite honestly, unhealthy relationships with our mothers. Many black athletes grow up in single-mama households where they are raised to be the man of the house and the provider as soon as possible. How many times have you read or seen a story of a black athlete who grew up dreaming about buying his mama a house and a car? It is celebrated as the greatest goal a black athlete can have. It’s a burden that limits opportunities and career paths.
I get the motivation. I had a terrific mother who made tremendous sacrifices for me and my brother. Thank God she also loved taking care of herself. She never put that pressure on me, not until she was old and had to retire from work to take care of her mother, who was suffering from dementia.
For the first 10 years after I graduated from college, my parents provided me with financial support. I was able to take a $5-an-hour job at the Bloomington Herald-Times when I graduated because my parents helped me. My second job at the Charlotte Observer was for $403 a week. My parents and my older brother supported me.
I was able to do entry-level work and move up in my industry because no one — not a child or my parents — needed me to provide for them.
The starting line is the key to solving the coaching dilemma in the NFL. The owners don’t care who coaches their teams, same as they don’t care who the quarterback is.
Did the NFL need to give away third-round picks to produce Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, etc.? No. You know what happened? Black kids started playing quarterback in Pee Wee football, high school football and college football.
There’s no instant gratification for taking a long-term approach to a problem. Troy Vincent is looking for power. He wanted to replace Gene Upshaw. He wants to replace Roger Goodell. Vincent operates like a politician promising quick and easy solutions to complex problems.
The Vincent Rule is welfare. Building a system that attracts 22-year-olds to take entry-level coaching positions is the equivalent of investing in the nuclear black family. It might take 20 or 30 years to see the full return on that investment. The politician might be dead or out of office before anyone realizes the brilliance of his solution.
Fortunately, we can see the stupidity of the Vincent Rule right now. It’s probably going to prevent Eric Bieniemy from landing the best job available.
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