“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!”

Those were the inspirational words of Martin Luther King Jr. spoken 45 years ago. Martin Luther King Jr. made tremendous efforts to revolutionize the way African Americans were treated. Unfortunately, today there is still discrimination within sports.

On December 15, 2008, a report came out from ESPN saying that Buffalo Bulls’ coach, Turner Gill, was denied a head-coaching job at Auburn University. Former Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik beat out Gill for the head-coaching job. But, the report said that he didn’t beat him out for the right reasons. Reportedly, Gill was denied the head-coaching job at Auburn University because he was African American and his wife was Caucasian. ESPN.com football writer Mark Schlabach told “Outside The Lines” that two other SEC coaches told him, straight up, that Gill would never get the Auburn job, because he’s married to a white woman. That’s right. Here we are in 2009, and he didn’t get the job not because he is black, but his wife is white. Go figure. To find out that a very deserving college football coach is denied of a head coaching position because his wife is white is absolutely ludicrous.

Here are some outstanding statistics for you. There are only four black college football head-coaches within the 119 NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision. That means that only 3% of college football coaches are African American. About one in every 30 coaches is African American. To me, as an African American myself, I find those statistics alarming and tragic. Here is another statistic for you. Gene Chizik with Iowa rode a 10 game losing streak on the road. Gill led his Buffalo team to a bowl game. Chizik did not. Gill led his team to a conference title. Chizik did not. As you can see, Turner Gill had a much better resume than Gene Chizik.

College football teams have no problem recruiting African American players. So, why can’t they hire an African American coach? What is so wrong with that? The ironic part to all of this is we just voted in an African American president. If someone was part of the hiring team for Auburn and voted for Barack Obama as President of the United States, why would they have such a problem hiring an African American coach as well qualified as Turner Gill?

Now, after this incident, I have a dream. I have a dream that one day all African Americans will have fair and equal opportunity to be hired as head coaches.

Sources: ESPN.com


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