Let the games begin: the selection of stadium construction manager — Fraser, Davis and Tomlin: quota guys in the NFL?


ThroughMyEyesnewThe push-Black-Americans-in-football-to-the-back-of-the-bus games have begun, raising “Blacks need not apply” signs not only for stadium construction jobs but also NFL team head-coaching jobs.

This is not about quotas. It is about statistical probabilities not being met due to intentional skewing out of contention a specific group of people. In this case, Black American workers, whether on stadiums or on stadium-field sidelines.

On or about February 1, the Sports Facilities Authority will select a Vikings’ stadium construction manager. I’m making two predictions — bets, if you will: There will be at least a one-year delay from July 2016 to 2017, and the builder will be Hunt Construction of Scottsdale, Arizona if a roof is being seriously contemplated, Skanska of Sweden if it is not.

My predictions are based on the legislation governing the new stadium construction and the patterns of action on it so far by the Vikings “people’s” “no new taxes” “stadium powers” (Minnesota Legislature, Minneapolis City Council, Vikings, NFL and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority).

I refer you to the stadium legislation, Section 15, Article 473J.11, Lines 14.32 through 17.21. This section clearly enables the 1-1.5 percent Black participation that I discussed in my column last week. This is no surprise to those who wrote or have read the legislation. Despite my urgings, few have read it and thus seen how it has been a big freight train of nullification and reversal coming down the tracks to block any meaningful inclusion of African Americans. Other “minorities” yes, African Americans no.

Read/re-read Lines 15.34 through 16.11. Analyze Lines 16.28 through 17.6. Two significant committees (think barricades) to an equitable Equity Plan are established.

See pages 6-12 of the Equity Plan. Who will explain how this provides the Black community with any voice whatsoever, as no enforceable provisions are contained within the 39-page document?

Timing is everything. The schedule timing has enabled the commitment to diversity and equity to be a formula for failure and obstruction of Black community participation. This column will monitor these two barricade committees: the Stadium Equity Oversight Committee and the Compliance Monitoring and Reporting Committees.

Maybe we should create a third committee and call it the Fairy Tale Committee to report to those of us in the Black community as to why we will not have an equitable part of the building of the People’s Stadium.


Fraser, Davis, and Tomlin: the quota guys?

This title is not intended as an insult or put down of these National Football League head coaches, but as an alert regarding the intentionally diminishing number of Black head coaches in the NFL.

In 2010 there were six African American head coaches and two interim head coaches, for a total of eight. One interim became a head coach. With the 2013 season the NFL will have three Black head coaches. It is clear that the Rooney Rule that Black candidates for head coach have to be interviewed too is no longer practiced.

The owners, many of whom have not hired a Black head coach and have no intention of ever hiring one, have destroyed the Rooney Rule, have “retired it,” hanging like a banner to the past, high above their stadium fields, as Black NFL head coaches are purposely made an endangered species. It raises the question of how many NFL owners were secret contributors to the super PAC campaign fundraising groups that were obsessed with defeating a Black president and putting Black America back in its place.

When winner-candidates are locked out, some teams will remain losers. This is why a Black as president is a scandal to the NFL’s “Blacks aren’t smart or competent enough” crowd.

Look at the patterns in Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, on the court and behind the bench. Well thought-out actions and policies rein in Black excellence at all levels. It is still the race elephant in the middle of the NFL living room.

“New” NFL and college head coaches come from the ranks of existing or fired head coaches or offensive/defensive coordinators. With coordinators promoted, continuity is maintained and players don’t have to learn a new play book.

If NFL and college teams are serious about equality, they’ll hire African American coordinators. And as most coaches are former players, and teams are half African American, then statistically, a third to half of head coaches would be African American.

Stay tuned.


Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm, and hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “Black Focus V” on Sundays, 3-3:30 pm and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for community planning and development, at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. Columns are archived at www.theminneap olisstory.com/tocarchives.htm.



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