Mayo takes on the challenge of succeeding Bill Belichick.
Sports Illustrated reports that Jerod Mayo has made history by becoming the first Black head coach in the New England Patriots’ franchise. The announcement marks the official start of the post-Bill Belichick era. During his first press conference in the role, Mayo addressed the significance of being the organization’s first Black head coach, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and addressing issues related to race.
“I do see color, because I believe if you don’t see color you can’t see racism.”
Jerod Mayo on being named the first black head coach in Patriots history. pic.twitter.com/toTTJ6CrB3— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 17, 2024
“I do see color because I believe if you don’t see color, you can’t see racism. Whatever it is, black, white, yellow, it really doesn’t matter, but it does matter so we can try to fix the problem,” Mayo remarked.
The New England Patriots, with a history spanning 64 years, have had only 13 head coaches, including Mayo. Notably, the team had not appointed a Black head coach until Mayo’s historic appointment. The NFL at large faces similar challenges, with 12 out of 32 teams yet to hire a Black non-interim head coach in their history, according to The Associated Press. Mayo’s appointment signals a positive shift, and the Patriots could serve as an example for other teams considering diverse hires.
The NFL has implemented policies, such as the Rooney Rule, to promote diversity in coaching hires. The rule, updated as recently as last year, ensures that teams consider deserving minority candidates for head coaching positions. Mayo’s appointment reflects a step forward in addressing the lack of diversity in coaching roles, contributing to the league’s ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity and equal opportunities for all.
Cover Photo: Jerod Mayo becomes the first Black head coach of the New England Patriots / Eric Canha for USA TODAY Sports