Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles shut down white, woke reporters for trying to make the upcoming matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers about race.
This season, there are three Black head coaches in the NFL: Todd Bowles of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans.
In the upcoming weekend, the Buccaneers will face off against the Steelers. In a recent press conference, reporters asked about the upcoming match. However, instead of focusing on the actual game, they wanted to know about Bowles’ relationship with Tomlin, since he is one of the only other Black head coaches in the league.
One reporter brought up the coaches’ shared race, saying, “You and Mike Tomlin are two of the few Black head coaches in the league. I wonder what your relationship is like with him.”
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Bowles didn’t give in to the reporter’s desire to make the upcoming game about race. Instead, he gave the perfect response:
“I have a very good relationship with Tomlin. We don’t look at what color we are whenwe coach against each other. We just know each other. I have a lot of very good white friends that coach in this league as well. I don’t think it’s a big deal as far as us coaching against each other. I think it’s normal.”
Bowles, who didn’t see the need to make race a factor in the conversation, added, “We coach ball. We don’t look at color.”
White ESPN reporter Jenna Laine chimed in, trying to help Bowles ‘understand’ the significance of two black head coaches facing off against one another because, clearly, he didn’t understand.
“But you also understand that representation matters too, right?” said Laine, trying to coax out a racially-focused response from the Buccaneers’ coach. “And that when aspiring coaches or even football players – they see you guys, you know, they see someone who looks like them, that grew up like them, that has to mean something.”
After this incredibly ignorant comment, Bowles came back with a flaming response, shutting down any more discussion about race, and putting Laine, and the other race-baiting reporters, in their place. Pointing out the racist comments that were being made, Bowles said,
“Well, when you say ‘see you guys’ and ‘look like them’ and ‘grew up like them,’ means that we’re oddballs to begin with. And I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well.”
Todd Bowles on coaching against Mike Tomlin this Sunday: “I don’t think it’s a big deal…we don’t look at color.”
Bowles on representation in coaching: “I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well.”
*Questions included for context pic.twitter.com/JtehXqqKcW
— David Schiele WTSP (@Deacon_Schiele) October 12, 2022
A white woman at ESPN telling a black NFL head coach why his race matters is a perfect distillation of the broken sports media culture ESPN has created. It’s all left wing identity politics and cancel culture there. Good for Todd Bowles for his answer.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 13, 2022