By Victor Trammell (Source: www.yourblackworld.net) – Urban Meyer, the Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, defended his club’s hiring of a controversial strength coach who has been accused of racism and bullying by former football players.
The NFL team announced Thursday (February 11) that it hired former University of Iowa (IU) strength coach Chris Doyle as director of sports performance for the franchise.
Meyer, who was previously the head coach at fellow Big Ten school Ohio State, is defending the new hire, claiming he knows Doyle well and heavily vetted his decision.
“I feel great about the hire, about his expertise at that position,” Meyer said during his media availability on Thursday, according to CNN.
“I vet everyone on our staff, and like I said, the relationship goes back close to 20 years and a lot of hard questions asked, a lot of vetting involved with all our staff. We did a very good job vetting that one,” Meyer also said.
“I know the person for close to 20 years, and I can assure them there will be nothing of any sort in the Jaguar facility,” he added.
Meyer said he does not believe that Doyle’s accusations involving previous acts of racism will prevent Jacksonville from attracting free agents.
Shortly after being placed on administrative leave at Iowa, Doyle posted a since-deleted statement on Twitter saying the accusations about his behavior were “not true.”
Sportswriter and culture commentator Jemele Hill called out the hire by questioning Meyer’s own credibility.
“Would love to know what his idea of “vetted” means. And this is the same guy who lied about whether he knew about his former OSU wide receivers coach’s domestic violence allegations. So why does Urban Meyer’s word mean anything?” she tweeted.
Hill also pointed out the challenge that Black coaches have breaking into the NFL.
“Also keep in mind that per @ByKimberleyA, the NFL has FOUR black head strength coaches. Imagine how black candidates who have been trying to move up feel seeing Urban Meyer hire someone who was paid over $1M by Iowa to go away after allegations of racism,” she wrote in another Twitter update (Meara, 2021).
However, on Friday evening (February 12), ESPN reported that Doyle resigned after public backlash over his hiring took its toll.
Reference: Meara, P. (2021, February 12) Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Defends Hiring Of Line Coach With Racist Past. Retrieved from https://www.bet.com/news/sports/2021/02/12/jacksonville-jaguars-coach-defends-hiring-line-coach-racist-past.html
*Your Black World news correspondent Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.