What Next

Best of 2022 | The NFL’s Race Problem

A former head coach alleges that the league’s hiring practices are discriminatory. What will it take for them to change?


Episode Notes

As we wrap up summer this week, we’re revisiting some of our favorite stories from this year. This episode originally aired on Feb. 7, 2022.

Until last month, Brian Flores was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, and one of only three Black head coaches among the NFL’s 32 teams. That number has since dropped to one.

On Tuesday, Flores announced he was suing the NFL, alleging that the league’s hiring practices are racist. His suit comes almost 20 years after the creation of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for senior positions, and eight years after Colin Kaepernick was black-balled from the sport for kneeling during the national anthem—begging the question of how much has really changed in that time.

Guest: LZ Granderson, columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of ABC News’ Life Out Loud With LZ Granderson.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.