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During his conversation with NBC News’ Lester Holt that aired in the lead-up to the Super Bowl, President Joe Biden called upon the NFL to live up to its previously stated intention to hire more Black individuals in positions of power.
Holt briefly interviewed Biden in a segment that aired prior to the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. During the sit-down — part of Biden’s first interview of 2022, most of which was released days prior — Holt asked Biden about the standard that the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell should be held to following former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores suing the league earlier this month, alleging racist hiring practices.
“I think it should be held to a reasonable standard,” Biden responded. “The commissioner pointed out, they haven’t lived up to what they committed to. They haven’t lived up to being open about hiring more minorities to run teams, and whether or not Goodell says they’re going to take a look at it, whether they can meet the standard — and the standard was set by someone who said this is something we should do.”
Reiterating a point made in Flores’ lawsuit, Biden called attention to the fact that the NFL is comprised of a majority of Black players, but as of the filing of Flores’ lawsuit, only had one coach, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who identifies as Black.
“Think about it: The whole idea that a league that is made up of so many athletes of color, as well as so diverse, that there’s not enough African-American qualified coaches to manage these NFL teams — it just seems like a standard that they’d want to live up to,” Biden said. “It’s not a requirement of law. It’s a requirement of decency.”
Holt also asked about the fact that some Super Bowl attendees at SoFi Stadium might not be wearing masks during the game. Biden replied that personal freedom should include the expectation of not putting others in jeopardy, and he encouraged everyone to get vaccinated, adding, “I just think they should be careful.”
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