Dallas sports anchor says Kliff Kingsbury hire is product of ‘covert racism’ – AOL

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January 11, 2019 3:27 pm Published by

Dale Hansen is never shy about wading into controversial waters.

The Dallas sports anchor makes a good part of his living targeting Jerry Jones and the missteps of the Cowboys.

On Wednesday, he looked beyond Dallas, setting his sights on the Arizona Cardinals and what he described as the “covert racism” of NFL ownership on an evening segment for WFAA.

Hansen on Kingsbury: ‘He’s young, and he’s white’

“Kingsbury fits all the criteria of being a head coach in the NFL,” Hansen said. “He’s an offensive genius. He’s young. And he’s white. And not necessarily in that order.”

Kingsbury, of course, is the new Cardinals head coach, whose hiring has set off a firestorm of debate in NFL media and fan circles. With the biggest non-Super Bowl weekend on the NFL calendar approaching, the plight of a 3-13 team has dominated the conversation.

That’s in large part because of the issues Hansen addresses here. Taken strictly at face value, an NFL team hiring a coach with with no league experience who recently got fired after going 35-40 at Texas Tech is compelling.

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Kliff Kingsbury’s coaching career

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DALLAS, TX – AUGUST 30: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders looks on against the SMU Mustangs on August 30, 2013 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – OCTOBER 12: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders talks things over with quarterback Davis Webb #7 during game action against the Iowa State Cyclones on October 12, 2013 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech won the game over Iowa State 42-35. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 2: Texas Tech Red Raider head coach Kliff Kingsbury observes pre-game warm-ups before facing the Oklahoma State Cowboys on November 2, 2013 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma State won the game 52-34. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

NORMAN, OK – OCTOBER 26: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts after a touchdown during their loss to the Oklahoma Sooners on October 26, 2013 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Jackson Laizure/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 9: Texas Tech Red Raider head coach Kliff Kingsbury during game action against the Kansas State Wildcats on November 9, 2013 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Kansas State won the game 49-26. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO, CA – DECEMBER 30: Offensive Player of the Game Quarterback Davis Webb #7 and Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders poise for a photo after their teams’ 37-23 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils during their National University Holiday Bowl Game on December 30, 2013 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO, CA – DECEMBER 30: Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders gets the Gatorade dump after his teams’ 37-23 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils during their National University Holiday Bowl Game on December 30, 2013 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

DALLAS, TX – JULY 21: Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks during the Big 12 Media Day on July 21, 2014 at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

El PASO, TX -SEPTEMBER 6 : Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders has some advice for Davis Webb #7 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during game action against the UTEP Miners on September 6, 2014 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated the UTEP Miners 30-26. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 13: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during game action against the Arkansas Razorbacks on September 13, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Arkansas defeated Texas Tech 49-28. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 15: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the game against the Oklahoma Sooners on November 15, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma won the game 42-30. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 15: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the game against the Oklahoma Sooners on November 15, 2014 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma won the game 42-30. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

November 15 2014: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury calling over to his players during the 2nd quarter of the Oklahoma Sooners 42-30 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas (Photo by Jacob Coppl/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders coaches from the sidelines in the second half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. Texas Tech defeated Iowa State 34-31. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the field for pre game warm ups prior to playing the TCU Horned Frogs on September 26, 2015 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. TCU won the game 55-52. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury on the sidelines against TCU at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. TCU won, 55-52. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

NORMAN, OK – OCTOBER 24: Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders watches the game against the Oklahoma Sooners on October 24, 2015 at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Jackson Laizure/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – OCTOBER 31: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Justin Stockton #4 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders before the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Oklahoma State Cowboys on October 31, 2015 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech 70-53. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

December 29, 2015: Texas Tech Red Raider quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) talks to Texas Tech Red Raider head coach Kliff Kingsbury before the final drive of the game during the 2015 Advocare Texas Bowl featuring the LSU Tigers vs Texas Tech Red Raiders at NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/ICON Sportswire) (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

TEMPE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts on the sidelines during the first half of the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

10 September, 2016: Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury during the NCAA football game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders watches warmups before the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on September 29, 2016 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech won the game 55-19. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – OCTOBER 15: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders stands on the sidelines during the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers on October 15, 2016 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – OCTOBER 22: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders questions an officials call during the game against the Oklahoma Sooners on October 22, 2016 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma won the game 66-59. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury works from the sideline as Texas Tech takes on TCU during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Amon G. Carter Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 05: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders watches play during the game against the Texas Longhorns on November 5, 2016 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Texas defeated Texas Tech 45-37. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 19: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders walks the field during warm ups at Jack Trice Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa State Cyclones won 66-10 over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)

AMES, IA – NOVEMBER 19: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders coaches from the sidelines in the first half of play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa State Cyclones won 66-10 over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II (5) and head coach Kliff Kingsbury walk off the field after after a 54-35 win against Baylor at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

FRISCO, TX – JULY 17: Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes questions during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days on July 17, 2017 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 16: Nic Shimonek #16 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders and head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the field before the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Arizona State Sun Devils on September 16, 2017 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech won the game 52-45. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 16: Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury and wide receiver Dylan Cantrell (14) celebrate a touchdown during the Texas Tech Raider’s 52-45 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils on September 16, 2017 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, TX. (Photo by Sam Grenadier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 30: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Willie Sykes #19 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders celebrate a interception return for a touchdown by Damarcus Fields #23 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half of the game on September 30, 2017 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LAWRENCE, KS – OCTOBER 7: Kliff Kingsbury head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders cheers for his team against the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 30: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders prepares to lead his team on to the field before the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Oklahoma State Cowboys on September 30, 2017 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma State won the game 41-34. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 04: Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches on from the sidelines during the Texas Tech Raider’s 42-35 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats on November 4, 2017 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, TX. (Photo by Sam Grenadier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders receives the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Shoot Out trophy from Texas Farm Bureau Insurance President Russell Boening after the game between the Baylor Bears and the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 11, 2017 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Texas Tech defeated Baylor 38-24. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 11 : Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders walks on the field during warm ups before the game between the Baylor Bears and the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 11, 2017 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Texas Tech defeated Baylor 38-24. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 18: Head coach Gary Patterson of the TCU Horned Frogs and head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders interact before the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the TCU Horned Frogs on November 18, 2017 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. TCU defeated Texas Tech 27-3. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, TX – NOVEMBER 24: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts with members of the coaching staff in the fourth quarter against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, AL – DECEMBER 23: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders looks on against the South Florida Bulls in the first half of the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field on December 23, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 01: Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury looks up at the clock during the AdvoCare Kickoff college football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Ole Miss Rebels on September 1, 2018 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 15: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts to a defensive stop in the second half during the game against the Houston Cougars on September 15, 2018 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech won the game 63-49. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – SEPTEMBER 29: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders (center, headphones, sunglasses) watches play from the sidelines during the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers on September 29, 2018 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. West Virginia defeated Texas Tech 42-34. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

LUBBOCK, TX – NOVEMBER 03: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the field during warm ups before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners on November 3, 2018 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma defeated Texas Tech 51-46. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

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Kingsbury hiring insists on topic of race in the NFL

But when considering the omnipresent issues of race in a league that felt compelled to implement the Rooney Rule requiring teams to interview minority coaching candidates just to attempt to level the playing field, the Kingsbury story is that much more intriguing.

“I am the product of white privilege in America, and I’ve never denied that I wasn’t, either,” Hansen continued. “Getting fired at one place and getting another chance isn’t the problem. But young, talented coaches of color not getting the chance. That’s a huge problem.

“The covert racism of the NFL ownership group is so bad, the NFL had to make a rule so that minority coaches could at least get an interview.”

Hansen went on to point out the overwhelmingly mediocre nine-year tenure of the Jason Garrett regime in Dallas compared to the one-and-done chance that Steve Wilks got as a black head coach in Arizona as evidence of “covert racism.”

Black coaches have survived mediocrity

Of course, black head coaches in the league have coasted on mediocrity as well. Marvin Lewis surviving 16 years with the Cincinnati Bengals with a grand total of zero playoff wins is one of the great mysteries of the modern NFL.

Fans a few hours north on I-71 can reasonably argue that Hue Jackson got one chance too many before being fired by the Cleveland Browns.

White privilege dominates NFL ownership

But Hansen’s point still stands. NFL ownership epitomizes a good ole boy network of white privilege.

NFL ownership consists largely of achingly privileged old white men with so much money they decided to buy their own football team. It always has been. It always likely will be.

When the business of these old white men is trading and profiting on the bodies of a largely black work force, issues of race become unavoidable. This country’s history makes that so.

That fact may perturb a segment of the NFL fanbase into frenzies beyond reason. But their rage does not change the truth from being the truth.

And that’s why Kingsbury’s hiring goes beyond that surface-level of shock of “why did a dude who couldn’t cut it at his alma mater get his next chance in the NFL?”

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NFL coaches fired after 2018 regular season

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Todd Bowles, New York Jets

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Vance Joseph, Denver Broncos

(Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Steve Wilks, Arizona Cardinals

(Photo by Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Playing field so clearly not level

Calling out the NFL’s good ole boy network does not at all indicate that racism is in play with every owner or their decisions. The purpose is to maintain awareness that the playing field is not close to being level for minority coaching candidates.

And when you’ve got an ownership group that tells its players to keep quiet on issues of racial injustice in the name of sticking to sports while using the team’s website to endorse the most controversial Supreme Court justice in U.S. history nominated by a president supported by white supremacists, then yeah, it becomes appropriate to start questioning Michael Bidwill’s motivations.

Kingsbury may or may not prove to be a successful NFL head coach. He got a big break, and does not warrant judgment for catching it — just on his performance moving forward now that he has the job. Whether he turns out to the the Sean McVay prototype the Cardinals so clearly hope he is has yet to be seen.

But his hiring raises multiple questions — some more serious than others — that deserve to be addressed.

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Jason Owens is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter.

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