Jimmy Raye on lack of hiring Black NFL coaches: 'It reeks of systemic racism'

In February for Black History Month, USA TODAY Sports is publishing the series “28 Black Stories in 28 Days

.” We examine the issues, challenges and opportunities Black athletes ,

and sports officials continue to face after the nation’s reckoning on race following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. This is the third installment of the series.

Let Jimmy Raye weigh in on the state of Black coaches in the NFL, with, sadly, more of the same ol' dialogue about scant opportunities.

“It’s very disappointing and it reeks of systemic racism,”

Raye, retired after a long career in the NFL as a position coach and offensive coordinator, told USA TODAY Sports.

The NFL’s recently completed head coach hiring cycle resulted in one Black candidate getting a job,

DeMeco Ryans with the Houston Texans, among the five openings. Over the past five cycles, Black coaches were hired for five of 33 openings.

Raye can relate to the widespread frustration. A generation ago, he was the Black assistant coach often mentioned – and occasionally interviewed – as a potential head coach.


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