The Fritz Pollard Alliance released a statement earlier today on the Jaguars hiring of Chris Doyle.
The statement, written by the Alliance’s Executive Director Rod Graves, said that Doyle’s hiring is “simply unacceptable”. The full statement comes from Josina Anderson:
Statement from the Fritz Pollard Alliance on the ‘Failure of Leadership by the Jacksonville Jaguars’: pic.twitter.com/Hcz9NHYh1z— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) February 12, 2021
The Fritz Pollard Alliance is a non profit organization devoted to “equal opportunity in the industry,” according to their website. Fritz Pollard was the first Black head coach in the NFL, and in 1928 coached the Chicago Black Hawks, an All-African American football team based in Chicago.
Doyle’s history at Iowa is well documented. In early 2020, he and the university parted ways after allegations of racism and bullying came from former Black players at the University of Iowa. Doyle has maintained that he never “crossed the line of unethical behavior or bias based upon race.” Doyle received 1.1 million dollars in his severance from the university.
The move has not only been panned by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, but by NFL media as a whole. ESPN’s Ryan Clark said on Twitter, “It’s more than ok to be accused of racism and bullying of college student athletes because as Urban said he’s known Chris for close to 20 years. Get mad. Don’t care.”
At yesterday’s press conference, Head Coach Urban Meyer said that he, GM Trent Baalke, and Owner Shad Khan “vetted Doyle throughly,” in the hiring process. “I’ve known Chris for 20 years. Our relationship goes back to when I was at Utah and he was the number one strength coach...[We] feel great about the hire, about his expertise at the position,” Meyer said (via Sports Illustrated’s John Shipley).
To read what I think about the hire, check here. It will be interesting to see where the Jaguars go from here with Doyle’s employment.