The New England Patriots have filled a gap in the organization that was left behind when Bill Belichick and the team parted ways by hiring Jerod Mayo to be the team’s next head coach. Mayo, an African American coach, focused on his race and what he considered a “problem” in the NFL.
Mayo is the fifteenth head coach in the New England Patriot’s history and has big shoes to fill, following directly on the heels of Bill Belichick, one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. Mayo was a first-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2008 and went on to spend his entire career playing for the team. Mayo had a successful career and also played under Belichick, so he has an understanding of what it takes to be a winner in New England.
During the introductory press conference, Mayo and Kraft discussed being a black head coach in the NFL and the decision-making process that brought the organization to hire their newest man. Owner Robert Kraft went first, explaining the decision-making process for hiring the new head coach.
Kraft was clear that the team went about the hiring process without skin color in mind. He said that at the end of the day, when the game was over, his only thought about a head coach is now they perform. He said, “I’m really colorblind in terms of I know what I feel like on Sunday when we lose, and I can just tell you that after my family, my passion is with the New England Patriots, and there’s something else very close second, but winning at the Patriots is my passion.”
Kraft went on to explain that the team went about their head coach search, simply seeking out the best talent that was available to bring into the fold. In the case of Mayo, Kraft explains, this was a case of finding the best possible candidate, who “happens to be a man of color.”
Mayo gave his take next, explaining that, unlike Robert Kraft, he does see color and is ready to set a good example that encourages teams around the league to hire more black coaches. Mayo said, “What I will say, though, is I do see color because I believe if you don’t see color, you can’t see racism. Whatever happens, Black, white, disabled person — even someone with disabilities, for the most part people are like — when they’re young, they kind of make the spot hot. Younger people know what that means.”
Mayo continued on, explaining that he believes he could be able to fix a list of “problems” that he refers to but does not explicitly lay out. Seemingly, the issues that he sees are ones that do not need enumerating due to being obvious.
He said, “It goes back to whatever it is, Black, white, yellow, it really doesn’t matter, but it does matter so we can try to fix the problem that we all know we have.” For Mayo, on-field success is the best option if he hopes to make waves in the NFL. Watch him here: