Racism and Coaching in the NFL

By Dave Zirin, AlterNet
This year, expect the top three vote getters for NFL Coach of the Year to be head coaches of African descent. There is Dungy, whose Colts flirted with an unbeaten season, the Bengals' Marvin Lewis and also Lovie Smith, whose Chicago Bears were predicted by Sports Illustrated to come 32nd out of 32 teams but instead won their division.

Anthony Prior, a former NFL cornerback whose new book The Slave Side of Sunday, calls out the institutionalized racism in pro football, says the problem is more than skin deep. Prior told me that the culture of white supremacy is so intense, even African-American players can be heard criticizing black coaches. African-Americans in positions of leadership aren't taken seriously, while "I heard white coaches called 'boss' like we're on a plantation."