Newly hired Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel is receiving support from former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III amid controversy over a comment he made during a press conference. While talking about all of the hype surrounding his racial background, Coach McDaniel said he identifies as a “human being” and added that his dad is black.
Newly hired Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel - who is biracial but somehow many people around him didn't know - has been receiving backlash over some comments he had made about his racial identity during his introductory press conference in Miami.
After Mike was hired by the Dolphins a few days ago, some praised the team for hiring a black or (bi-racial) coach (seen above with his wife and daughter) amid the controversy surrounding ex-Miami coach Brian Flores’. Flores' blockbuster discrimination lawsuit accused the NFL of unfair and racist hiring practices.
Now, the praise is getting backtracked since it seems McDaniel has not been outwardly identifying as black or even claiming that side of him. Until the NFL did it for him.
Here’s the clip that has gone viral:
Mike McDaniel on people talking about his racial background "It's been very odd...I identify as a human being and my dad's black" pic.twitter.com/XRRrNsNsc1
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) February 10, 2022
During the press conference, which was not an SNL skit, Coach McDaniel was asked about how his racial identity has been discussed and speculated.
“It’s been very odd to tell you the truth,” he said during his introductory press conference. “This idea of identifying as something. I think people identify me as something, but I identify as a human being. My dad’s Black, so whatever you want to call it … I know there’s a lot of people with a shared experience.”
Mike, who has a phenotype of a caucasian man and indeed could pass as a white man, said he hadn’t experienced racism directly, but mentioned his mom and dad experienced it. Because of that, he said he can “identify with other people’s problems.” Hmm...
“It’s weird that it comes up because I’ve just tried to be a good person. I think my background opens my eyes a little bit,” he said. “I don’t have any real experience with racism because … I don’t know … I know my mom experienced it when she married my dad. I know my dad experienced it. It’s in my family. But, I guess that makes me a human being that can identify with other people’s problems.”
During the conference, spectators also noticed how he didn’t shy away from making Hip Hop references:
If you think I'm not going to post every song-related line Mike McDaniel says.... pic.twitter.com/44k9BH7URj
— Niners Nation (@NinersNation) February 10, 2022
Mike McDaniel at his Dolphins introductory press conference pic.twitter.com/JWiu8lD4aQ
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) February 7, 2022
Please… no more tweets about Mike McDaniel identifying as “human” and listening to hip hop. I beg you. pic.twitter.com/fG16fwBrD5
— KimberlEY A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) February 10, 2022
Folks are confused why Mike McDaniel - who previously served as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator - identifies as a “human being,” but in the same breath mentioned separately that his father is “black,” leaving people to question if he feels black people aren’t human.
Mike McDaniel said what white people say and show us every day. They believe they’re the default and standard human beings, while the rest of us are “other.”
Among the many benefits and privileges of whiteness is a claim to individuality, racelessness, humanity.
— Uju Anya (@UjuAnya) February 11, 2022
”Mike McDaniel said what white people say and show us every day. They believe they’re the default and standard human beings, while the rest of us are “other,’” said university professor and researcher Uju Anya. “Among the many benefits and privileges of whiteness is a claim to individuality, racelessness, humanity."
Amid the backlash, former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III - who has biracial children and is n his second interacial marriage - took to social media to show support. Shocker.
Mike McDaniel is a mad genius plain and simple. Knows the game. Grew up in it. He is thoughtful & will let that show to his players & the media. He also hates being used as a political ploy for the NFL’s diversity issues just because his Dad is Black. pic.twitter.com/vpesWLJUNC
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) February 10, 2022
”Mike McDaniel is a mad genius plain and simple,” RG3 tweeted. “Knows the game. Grew up in it. He is thoughtful & will let that show to his players & the media. He also hates being used as a political ploy for the NFL’s diversity issues just because his Dad is Black.”
I have known Mike McDaniel for 10 years. Known his Dad is black for 10 years. Have talked with him about it.
Let the man Coach and stop forcing things on him that he doesn’t want. He understands racism and also understands that he didn’t have to face it because of his appearance
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) February 10, 2022
”I have known Mike McDaniel for 10 years. Known his Dad is black for 10 years. Have talked with him about it,” he continued. “Let the man Coach and stop forcing things on him that he doesn’t want. He understands racism and also understands that he didn’t have to face it because of his appearance.”
How ever Coach McDaniel decides to identify is his business. But let’s not praise the Dolphins for a minority hire when the person hired doesn’t identify as a minority. We’re all human beings. To many people, it feels like Coach McDaniel doesn’t see himself as a minority. You can look at him and see he likely passed as a white man, which would explain why he never experienced racism. That's fine. But you can't play in both lanes - receiving aide or special attention reserved for black people who ARE often discriminated again, but not even claiming you're black, isn't fair to those who the benefits were created for in the first place.
Either identify as no race at all and therefore receive no benefits reserved for certain races, or proudly identify. No one cares which one you choose.
Makes you wonder.
Earlier this month, ex-Dolphins coach Brian Flores sued the NFL and three teams, including the Dolphins, Broncos and Giants, alleging racist practices during the hiring process for coaches and executives.
“This is about changing the hiring practices in the National Football League, and that’s what this lawsuit is about,” Brian said on CNN “I want to coach football that’s what I’m called to do.”
In the lawsuit, he alleged the NFL discriminated against him and other black coaches when it came to certain positions.
”In certain critical ways, the NFL is racially segregated and is managed much like a plantation,” he said in the lawsuit.
Photo: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell/Tinseltown/Shutterstock