Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


There are some things that only black people can say. Some things that only women can say. Some things that only people in the gay community can say. Etc… They are the constructive things. Because sometimes… you can’t critique from the outside without appearing a bigot– no matter how pure your intentions, they are immediately changed to false, because you are not one of them.

In this regard, I have been troubled ever since last Sunday that much of the hype about the coming superbowl has surrounded the skin color of the coaches. But I don’t share their skin color. I have been equally bothered by all the hype surrounding the skin color and gender of presidential hopefuls. But I am not a woman, or black, or hispanic. I am a white male and so on several subjects, my voice is mute.

Then, today I was reading a blog by my friend Jackson, and he linked to this article at ESPN. It’s a black guy writing about two black coaches. It’s an amazing article on the faith, integrity, and character. But it’s the conclusion I really enjoyed. Here’s how Michael Smith, a senior sports writer for ESPN’s, finishes this article:

Regarding a coaching matchup between friends and former colleagues, these are the kinds of things we should be talking about exclusively leading up to the game, the class way in which Dungy and Smith lead their respective organizations. Not something as trivial as Dungy and Smith’s skin color. It seems as if every day we hear about players getting arrested or being involved in some embarrassing incident — and failing as role models. When Dungy walks away from coaching he likely will devote more of his time to the prison ministry about which he’s so passionate. He and Smith are examples of what a strong man is. Never mind what they look like. They’re the perfect people to represent not just the African-American community but the NFL community.

On Jan. 15, the nation celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We could honor his dream by celebrating Dungy’s and Smith’s achievements not because of the color of their skin, but the content of their character.

There’s a lot of talk about hoping for a day when black coaches in the Super Bowl won’t be a big deal, when we won’t find it necessary to refer to a coach as a “black coach” (or any person by their race, for that matter).

What’s wrong with that day being today? Dungy and Smith have made history, and we happily acknowledge it. As for our practice of categorizing NFL head coaches, let’s make that history, too.



  1. That Jackson guy is probably pretty cool since he linked to an article like that.

Leave a Reply