By Jamal Denman
As a youth, local community leader Laverne Turner was heavily involved in organized team sports, and he remembers how positive an impact it had on him growing up. As an adult in 2003, he says he noticed there were no athletic programs for youth in his community, which motivated Turner to develop a sports program for young people in his South Minneapolis Phillips neighborhood — the East Phillips Park Sports Association (EPPSA). To decide which type of sports team to organize, and if there would even be any interest among the kids, Turner surveyed the young people in his neighborhood to get their feedback. “Most kids wanted to play football, so I tried to put together a football team in cooperation with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board [MPRB] at the time,” Turner says.
The partnership lasted for a year, and he says it “had some successes. Continue Reading →
The NFL’s Rooney Rule that mandates teams looking for a new head coach to interview at least one Black candidate today resembles a Peanuts comic strip. Team general managers and owners are like Lucy holding the football, and Black coaches are Charlie Browns watching head-coaching jobs perennially snatched from beneath them under the guise of an inclusive interviewing process. Seven recent head-coach job openings — zero Blacks hired. Andy Reid was hired four days after being fired. Former college coach Chip Kelly met with two teams, returned to Oregon, and falsely told his bosses that he was staying put, then bolted off to Philadelphia to replace Reid. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Not counting HBCUs, there might be 20 Black women head coaches today in collegiate basketball among over 300 NCAA schools. “It’s tough,” admits Tonya Edwards. “I think as African American coaches have more success, it will open [doors] for a lot more.”
She easily lists such Black females as Penn State’s Coquese Washington, one of four Black women head coaches in the Big Ten, and Nikki Caldwell, who is in her first season at LSU after several successful seasons at UCLA. “And [Rutgers’s C. Vivian] Stringer always has done well,” adds Edwards, who’s in her fourth season as head coach at Alcorn State, of the legendary coach. Stringer, a Basketball Hall of Famer, has been a longtime advocate of more former Black female basketball players making the transition into coaching once their playing days conclude. Continue Reading →