Todd Bowles, the head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, dissected a woke reporter earlier this week when she attempted to make his accomplishments in the NFL and that of other black coaches all about race.
During a Q&A with reporters, Bowles was asked about his relationship with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who is also black and has likely achieved Hall of Fame status due to his success with the Steelers franchise for more than a decade.
“You and Mike Tomlin are [among] the few black head coaches in the league, I wonder what your relationship is like with him and your thoughts on Steve Wilks joining that,” a reporter asked.
“I have a very good relationship with Tomlin. We don’t look at what color we are when we coach against each other. We just know each other. I have a lot of very good white friends that coach in this league as well and I don’t think it’s a big deal … Wilks got an opportunity to do a good job, hopefully, he does it … we coach ball, we don’t look at color,” Bowles responded.
Tampa Bay Bucs HC Todd Bowles SLAMS reporters over questions about race: "We coach ball, we don't look at color … I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about, everybody else will." pic.twitter.com/e9KkoDKsCe
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 13, 2022
However, another reporter, a white female with ESPN, persisted.
“But you also understand that representation matters too, right? That when young aspiring coaches or even football players, they see you guys — you know they see someone that looks like them, maybe grew up like them, that has to mean something,” she offered.
Bowles once again was ready with a response.
“When you say, see ‘you guys’ or ‘look like them’ or ‘grew up like them,’ that means we are oddballs, to begin with. And I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well,” he chastised the reporter, Jenna Laine, who later tried to defend herself.
“Let me clarify something. I wasn’t telling Todd Bowles how he should think or feel about racial representation. I was seeking clarity because his response to the initial question from another reporter Wednesday differed quite a bit from this response March 31 when he was hired,” she noted on Twitter.
…My line of questioning was directly in line with Todd Bowles’ own comments that day. I would never tell someone whose life experience is different from my own and whose shoes I haven’t walked in, how to feel. My job is to seek clarity and to gain understanding.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) October 14, 2022
“My line of questioning was directly in line with Todd Bowles’ own comments that day,” she complained. “I would never tell someone whose life experience is different from my own and whose shoes I haven’t walked in, how to feel. My job is to seek clarity and to gain understanding.”
That’s dishonest, at best, and an outright lie, at worst. Sports reporters’ ‘lines of questioning’ ought to focus on the sport, not on ‘society’s larger issues.’ But that’s why Americans are abandoning sports reporting as much as they are shunning the major fake news networks – they are tired of being told what to think and how to think.