What Can We Learn from the NFL’s Fumble?

With Jonathan Santos Silva, Doc Miller, Keith Brooks, Randy Seriguchi, Dennis Maurice Dumpson

On this special live episode, Jonathan and Doc welcome – to the Bored Room. With the Big Game around the corner, our Bored Members call for a replay of the NFL’s most recent fumble with Coach Brian Flores. 

For those of you that don’t know, Brian Flores is the immediate former Head Coach for the Miami Dolphins. Despite leading the Dolphins for three seasons, the last two with winning records, he was fired from his role. He’s filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three franchises for discrimination in hiring practices, among other things. In a league where over 70% of athletes are Black, at the time of this Bored Meeting, of the 32 NFL teams, one Black coach remains.

If you’re a Bored of Ed fan you may be questioning why the Bored is covering Flores’ lawsuit. As Jonathan puts it, “the majority of the frontline performers are people of color but the majority of people who oversee their work is white – that could be the NFL but it could also be education”.  Bringing Keith, Randy, and Dennis to the table gives us an opportunity to compare two broken systems and highlight organizations working to build something better.

Keith Brooks, Nfblme

Keith leads the conversation with the philosophy he uses at his organization, The National Fellowship for Black and Latino Male Educators, “if you want to change the system, you have to change the eco-system… it’s the Harriet Tubman philosophy of leadership. It’s not enough to get to the destination, you have to go back and bring others along with you”.  Through coaching and mentoring, fellowship, and development retreats, Keith prepares Black and Latino men for leadership roles in education and entrepreneurship.

Randy Seriguchi, UEA

A handoff to Randy gives us insight into Urban Ed Academy, a San Francisco-based organization that positions Black men in the educational community. Urban Ed Academy recruits young men at HBCUs and provides housing, mentorship, and a stipend across four years. This multi-system approach operates as an offensive line, protecting the QB all the way to the endzone. 

Dennis Maurice Dumpson, InvestBLK

Dennis calls an audible, redirecting the Bored’s attention to the treatment of Black men when they do land the job, “oftentimes you’re expected to do things that are incredible anti-Black…  like [acting as] security as well as being a teacher”. He goes on to list examples of the pressure to fill these add-on roles due to the indebtedness to the administration for providing the opportunity. Being a skilled teacher and doing your job well isn’t enough. Black men are also expected to take on the role of behavior support, mentor, and backup bouncer for colleagues, who statistically are most often white women.

At this point in the episode, we hear from Jonathan again who riffs off of Dennis’ mention of meritocracy. If the idea is that the best will rise or that hard work pays off, then why are our Black coaches and teachers overlooked for these roles, time and time again? Back-to-back winning seasons didn’t guarantee Brian Flores’ continued employment in the NFL; what will ensure long-term, sustainable careers for our Black male teachers?

And that’s half-time folks. Tune in to episode 4, The Big Game Special of the Bored of Ed to hear the rest of the conversation.

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