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Jim Trotter On NFL’s Failure to Hire Black Coaches: ‘I’m At a Loss For Words’

“I’m at a loss for words here because it truly is so frustrating and so exhausting, and just so unfair to these men who, all they want is an equal opportunity,”

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had to have known he would face questions about the league’s head-coach hiring practices in light of Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.

Even without Flores’ lawsuit, Goodell likely would’ve had to address the continued lack of minority hiring when nine head-coach positions were open and only two of them went to people of color. New Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel is biracial and the Texans hired Lovie Smith under what could be viewed as questionable circumstances with increased scrutiny over hiring Black coaches.

But the issue is at the forefront of concerns the NFL needs to deal with, so Goodell had to confront the league’s lack of diversity in hiring during his “State of the NFL” press conference on Wednesday. Posing questions on the matter was NFL Network’s Jim Trotter. (The call is coming from inside the house, Rog!)

Video of the exchange was aired on NFL Total Access, which you can see below:

Trotter began by pointing out that 24 of the NFL’s 32 franchises have either had one Black head coach or no Black head coaches. He named the 13 teams that have never hired a Black head coach, then mentioned that the league has never had a majority Black owner and only one Black team president. Seven general managers are Black, five hired in the past 12 months. And now, three Black head coaches, two hired after the Flores lawsuit.

“When we look at the league office, of the top 11 executives, there are only two people of color,” said Trotter. “When we look at NFL Media Group, where I work, there is not one Black person at the senior level in the newsroom who makes decisions about a league whose player population is 70 percent Black.”

“So as a member of the Media Group and as a Black man, I ask why does the NFL and its owners have such a difficult time at the highest levels hiring Black people into decision-making positions?”

Goodell gave what most would view as an evasive answer, saying the league believes in diversity but needs to look at its policies and procedures, and needs to do a better job.

Soon thereafter, Trotter appeared on San Francisco’s Damon & Ratto and talked about putting Goodell on the spot, but not getting a satisfactory answer.

“The thing that was fascinating to me today is when Roger said that no topic has dominated or created more discussion among the owners over the last four to five years than this diversity issue,” Trotter said.

“I’m listening to that and I’m saying, ‘Well, doesn’t that tell you then that you guys aren’t getting it right?’ Here we are, five years later, and we’re still talking about the same thing and the numbers are not actually increasing, but regressing.”

Trotter went on to express his frustration that team owners who haven’t hired Black coaches are on the league’s diversity and social justice committees. Yet when they have head-coach openings, they’re not hiring minorities for those positions.

“I’m at a loss for words here because it truly is so frustrating and so exhausting, and just so unfair to these men who, all they want is an equal opportunity,” said Trotter.

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Nick Wilson: Deshaun Watson Press Conference ‘Insulting’ To Local Media

“You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters get to say, ask, or think.”

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media for the first time yesterday since being reinstated by the NFL after the league ruled he was guilty of violating the Personal Conduct Policy due to improper sexual advances towards more than two dozen massage therapists. 92.3 The Fan afternoon host Nick Wilson called Watson’s press conference “trash” and “insulting” to local media.

Watson told reporters he would only answer football related questions from the assembled media members, which Wilson took issue with.

“You can’t bury this story simply by saying ‘I won’t talk about it’,” Wilson said. “It is insulting to the media who covers this team. This is not about Nick Wilson, I promise. This is about the beat reporters who cover this team. It is insulting — intentionally or not — to say ‘You know what, guys? I love y’all, but I’m going to dictate what you ask me’.

“You don’t do that. You dictate when you speak, your opening statement, or how you respond. You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters — who work very hard day in, day out covering this organization, covering Deshaun Watson, covering this town — get to say, ask, or think. That was trash.”

Co-host Dustin Fox added the whole job of the media is to bring information to fans, and Watson wouldn’t allow reporters to do that Thursday, and may never do that.

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Gregg Giannotti: Biggest Issue With Craig Carton, Jon Jastremski Feud Is “Mole” At WFAN

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems.”

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Gregg Giannotti

A feud has sprung up between WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton and former WFAN host John Jastremski. Boomer & Gio discussed the spat on Friday morning’s show, with Gregg Giannotti being troubled by a revelation.

During his New York New York podcast, a voicemail left for Jastremski asked about Carton’s comments, but the caller said a WFAN employee sent him the clip of Carton’s criticism.

“So that means we have a mole,” Boomer Esiason said.

“That right there is a problem,” Gregg Giannotti added. “‘We both have a mutual friend that still works over there’ and that person shared a link of Craig talking about JJ (Jastremski). So, clearly, that person is on JJ’s side and they’re still working here. That’s a mole! That’s someone going against the team! And I think know who that is!”

Esiason then asked if he knew the person, to which Giannotti said he did. He then asked if he would be upset by who it was, which Giannotti affirmed as well.

The show then played the final portion of Jastremski’s rant, which included him saying to Carton “I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike.”

“Jesus!” Esiason exclaimed. “Good for JJ, though. Standing up for himself.”

“I like both of these guys. I do. I got respect for both of them,” said Giannotti. “Everybody doesn’t have to go to the jail, crook thing with Craig every single time. Do they? It’s low-hanging fruit. Everybody goes there. There’s no way he can defend himself in that way because everybody saying ‘You went to jail’ didn’t go to jail, and it’s not apples and oranges. But the business stuff is apples-to-apples.

“So when I hear that, I’m just like ‘Ok, you went there. Be a little more creative than that’. As far as I listen to legend things, please, nobody has given me worse advice in my life than Mike Francesa did. Nobody. I would still be out in the newsroom cutting Islander highlights if I listened to that guy. And the only reason why Mike liked JJ was because he didn’t feel he was a threat. The only people Mike likes is the people he feels non-threatened by. And that’s where that comes from.”

After concluding Jastremski’s rant was a “little over the top”, Giannotti then turned his attention to the “mole” inside the station.

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems. That — to me — is an issue. The guy on the voicemail said ‘We may or may not have a mutual friend that still works at the radio station’ and this guy just slammed the radio station. And he’s friends with the guy who slammed the radio station and then slammed Craig and this guy’s on their side?! And this guy that works here is on their side?! That to me is a major, major problem.”

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Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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