New Patriots Coach Jerod Mayo Kicks Off First Press Conference With Stream Of DEI Gobbledygook

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Robert McGreevy Contributor
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The New England Patriots’ first coach of the post-Belichick era is also their first black head coach.

Jerod Mayo, the former Patriots linebacker, took a different approach to addressing race in his first press conference than other black head coaches like Mike Tomlin and Todd Bowles.

Bowles and Tomlin typically take a Morgan Freeman “stop talking about it” approach to solving racism in the NFL. Patriots owner Robert Kraft mirrored that manner when a reporter asked him about the significance of Mayo’s race.

“Let me say this to you: 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 told reporters. “I want to get the best people I can get. I chose the best head coach for this organization. He happens to be a man of color. But I chose him because I believe he’s best to do the job,” he finished.

Mayo, however, contradicted him. “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 claimed.

“But what I would say is, no, I want you to be able to go up to those people and really understand those people. 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.” (RELATED: Here Are The Top-10 Bill Belichick Moments Of All Time)

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 17: (L-R) Newly appointed head coach Jerod Mayo and Owner Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots pose after a press conference at Gillette Stadium on January 17, 2024 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The attitude of yelling about racism from the rooftops does not seem to be addressing the problem of racism. Constantly shoving it down our throats is, in my opinion, counterproductive. I’m not saying we should ignore it at every turn, but the trend of viewing literally every interaction you have through the myopic lens of racism is exhausting and I believe most Americans — black, white and every other color — are sick of it.

Mike Tomlin Didn’t Wanna Play Politics

Mayo could learn a thing or two from Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles, whose brilliant response to a reporter’s race baiting BS is a true thing of beauty.

In 2022, after the Panthers hired Steve Wilks, a black man, to be their head coach, a reporter asked Bowles about his relationship with Mike Tomlin and Wilks “as one of the few black head coaches in the league.” (RELATED: Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Exits Stage Left Mid-Question When Asked About His Contract Expiring — Will He Return?)

Bowles handled the question with the utmost class, saying “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. As far as us coaching against each other, I think it’s normal. Wilks got an opportunity to do a good job. I hope he does it,” Bowles stated.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 12: Coach Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals 27-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“We coach ball. We don’t look at color,” he professed, brilliantly I might add.

Of course, the liberal white reporters in the room couldn’t let him get away with such an egregious and racist mindset.

“But you also understand that representation matters, too, right?” a woman in the room asked condescendingly. “When young aspiring coaches and football players, they see you guys, they see someone that looks like them, grew up like them, that has to mean something,” she concluded.

First of all, that last bit wasn’t even a question. How is an NFL reporter getting paid to lecture a head coach? Tampa really needs to a better job of choosing who they give out media credentials to. But Bowles’ response to this insulting line of questioning really blew me away.

“Well, when you say ‘see you guys’ and ‘look like them’ and ‘grow up like them’ means we’re odd balls to begin with, and I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal of it everybody else will as well.”

BOOM. Couldn’t have said it any better myself. So much of the racial tension in society today is a fire actively stoked by the media. I’m not saying racism or prejudice would disappear overnight if we just started ignoring it, but I would argue for a more tactical approach. Snuff it out in the dark corners where it thrives. Don’t drag it into the center of every conversation and make it our cultural touchstone.

Mayo could learn a thing or two from the Bowles approach.