Miami, the football mecca of the United States, is now one of the most progressive cities in professional and collegiate sports. In the past month, the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Hurricanes have made minority hires that break down the good old boys' network.
The Dolphins are the largest employer in Miami Gardens, which has the fourth largest population of African-Americans in Florida. Owner Stephen Ross is doing something unprecedented in the NFL: He is handing over full control of the franchise to a predominantly African-American front office and coaching staff.
He recently promoted Chris Grier to general manager in charge of football operations; it's the first time an African-American has held that title in Dolphins history. Grier will soon erase all doubt that he holds a token title. He is expected to land New England Patriots assistant Brian Flores as the first African-American head coach of Miami’s storied franchise.
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The new GM and head coach will bring in highly qualified African-American football minds. Grier, who will be the only minority general manager in the NFL next season, recently hired Buffalo Bills scout Marvin Allen as his assistant general manager.
From 2013 to 2017, Allen was college scouting director for the Kansas City Chiefs. That was when the team drafted its star-studded young roster, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes. And Flores is expected to bring in former Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell as the Dolphins' associate head coach.
Ross is the most progressive owner in the league. He’s demonstrated unwavering support for Kenny Stills even though the star wide receiver is among the few Dolphins who continue to kneel during the National Anthem. NFL owners should follow Ross’ example.
Meanwhile, University of Miami athletic director Blake James skipped out on a national search to promote Manny Diaz as the first Cuban-American head coach in Canes history. This move, along with the Dolphins’ hires, will further unite the city’s football fan base. All Miamians have to support the Canes’ Cuban coach and the Dolphins’ African-American GM and coach. We should be celebrating this progress.