For a professional football coach, winning the Super Bowl should be the best day of your career. However, Super Bowl LV was simply a reminder of how far the NFL still has to go to ensure that their Black coaches garner the respect that they rightfully deserve.
On February 7, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their second Super Bowl title in two decades. This year's Tampa Bay squad also became the first team to win a title with three Black coordinators leading the way. Unfortunately, this achievement was temporarily soured by a reporter who mistook Byron Leftwich for Todd Bowles during a post-game press conference.
As Byron Leftwich approached the podium, a reporter by the name of Michael Donaldson asked a question.
“Going into the game, what was your number one goal on the defensive side? [Was your number one goal] to shut Mahomes down? [Was it] to shut that high-powered offense down? What was your number one goal going into that game?" he asked.
Leftwich is not the defensive coordinator. The team's defensive coordinator is Todd Bowles. Leftwich is the offensive coordinator. After playing the NFL for a decade, Leftwich returned to football as a quarterbacks coach for the Arizona Cardinals. Over the last few years, he has worked his way up the ladder to offensive coordinator with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Shut Mahomes down?” Leftwich replied.
“I think you got the wrong guy. I got nothing to do with that. That was Todd [Bowles].”
Leftwich moved on with the remainder of his press conference and enjoyed the moment of winning his Super Bowl. Reporters ultimately chimed in via Twitter and offered their thoughts.
"The other black guy," Kevin Richardson of The Baltimore Sun tweeted.
I sorta wish Byron had said what he was thinking......'You got the wrong Black guy,'" Rod Walker of the Times-Picayune added.
Leftwich was able to laugh off the question, but it served as a reminder that even in victory, Black coaches are still not given the respect that they deserve.
Photo Credit: Getty Images