Bucs, Chiefs and more picks for NFL Week 6 | Lorenzo’s Locks
Lorenzo Reyes is back with his picks heading into Week 6, including his choice for the highly anticipated Bills-Chiefs matchup.
There are four Black head coaches currently in the NFL. Two of them will face off Sunday in the Week 6 game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yet Tampa Bay coach Todd Bowles said he doesn’t pay particular attention to race when he coaches or when he assesses his relationships among the other coaches in the league, including Mike Tomlin of the Steelers.
“I have a very good relationship with Tomlin,” Bowles said Thursday in a news conference. “We don’t look at what color we are when we coach against each other. We just know each other. 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.”
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WEEK 6 MATCHUPS: AFC powers meet in Kansas City; 5-0 Eagles host NFC East rival Cowboys
Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans and Steve Wilks of the Carolina Panthers — who became the interim head coach when Carolina fired Matt Rhule Monday — are the other two. Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins is mixed race.
“Wilks got an opportunity to do a good job; hopefully he does it,” Bowles continued. “We coach ball. We don’t look at color.”
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) publishes annual report cards on racial and gender hiring across the major sports leagues. Its 2021 report card showed that 1,000 of the 1,725 — or 58% — for which there were data in 2021 identified as Black or African American.
That contrasts sharply to the only four of 32 — or 12.5% — of current head coaches who identify as Black or African American.
Despite the disparity between players and head coaches who identify as Black or African American, Bowles took issue with the line of questioning from media members.
“Well, when you say ‘you guys’ and ‘look like them’ and ‘grow up like them,’ that means that we’re oddballs to begin with,” Bowles said. “I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well.”
The Steelers (1-4) will host the Buccaneers (3-2) Sunday at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
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