June 8, 2020

Herm Edwards’ integrity won’t let him stay quiet

Andy Yamashita

Today was definitely the longest day of boot camp so far, but we had a chance to talk to some fantastic, knowledgeable guests from all over the sports industry. Chief among them was Arizona State head football coach and former NFL head coach Herm Edwards. Discussing several topics, including how to navigate coach-media relations, the plight of black men in America, and how he tries to set an example for his athletes through his political activism, Edwards also gave us several proverbs like, “Life isn’t fair, life is about opportunity,” and “Don’t close the door for people behind you.” He talked freely about his feelings on diversity hiring incentives in the NFL, and experiencing sports through his stints on the sideline and in the press box. However, what made this talk even more impressive personally, was talking to him after Dr. Scott Brooks. A professor at ASU who teaches sociology in sports, he talked to us about the structural flaws that have prevented people of color and specifically black men from moving up in the coaching world and how that could impact a black coach’s mentality. And while Edwards acknowledged that it sometimes felt like he was entering a situation with two strikes, he also said he would never stop speaking out or standing up about issues he felt were important in fear for his own career because that’s who he is. His integrity — something he mentioned several times — won’t let him do anything else, because like he said, “Your words and actions must match every day.”

you might also like