Two weeks ago, Charles Barkley spotlighted a racist hypocrisy in the NBA, ripping teams for “firing” Black coaches, but “parting ways” with White coaches. Now Barkley is calling out the NBA again, for failing to give enough Black coaching candidates the chance to lead a team.
Black athletes make up more than 70% of the NBA’s players, but only seven of the league’s 30 teams have Black head coaches. But as the NBA is down to its final four teams of the playoffs, three of the remaining head coaches are Black, highlighting the need for more diversity in leadership roles.
“We need more Black coaches, we need more Black front office people,” Barkley said Sunday night on Inside the NBA. “It’s a bigger problem in the NFL and in college football,” he added.
The observation was also made by Tyronn Lue, a Black head coach who led the Los Angeles Clippers to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history.
“That says a lot about how we have been coaching. Hopefully, so we can stop getting looked down upon so we can just build, build the way for other young Black coaches,” Lue said after his team knocked off the Utah Jazz. “I think a lot of openings this summer, hopefully, a lot of GMs and owners will see that Black coaches are good coaches and hope they give an opportunity for the young coaches coming up today.”
“We need to have a conversation about giving guys the opportunity,” Barkley continued in reference to Black coaches. “If they fail, fire them. You can’t just keep recycling white coaches. They get fired and they get new jobs. Give these guys a chance. These guys, they’re doing a fabulous job and its just something we need to talk about.”
Barkley’s Inside the NBA co-host, Shaquille O’Neal noted that it’s also time for the NBA to have its first female head coach. “Don’t forget women,” Shaq said. “I think its time for women to get the opportunity to be a head coach.”
Dawn Staley and Becky Hammon have both received recent interest from NBA teams looking to fill their head coaching void, showing the league is moving closer to breaking that glass ceiling.
Watch above via TNT
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