Should the NFL enact Affirmative Action (hire more white players)

Should the NFL enact Affirmative Action (hire more white players)? I say they should. I support AA in instances when white people dominate the situation… so if blacks dominate the NFL, we need AA for white people, right?

I’m serious… this is not a joke or an exaggeration.

I could have the wrong opinion, I could be convinced of that, but my question is sincere.

ETA: this was inspired by, if Spike Lee want to boycott the Oscars because he feels the movie industry unfairly discriminates against blacks, why don’t we therefor correct the sports industry because it unfairly discriminates against whites.

You haven’t demonstrated that the NFL discriminates unfairly against whites, nor that historical disadvantages are hurting whites’ ability to secure jobs in the NFL. So, no, there is no parallel, and the NFL should not take affirmative steps to increase white participation.

But those are very complex dynamics.

Whites make up like 50% of the population. And like 10% of a football team. It’s an uneven proportion.

I oppose all affirmative action, period. So I say no.

But I’m glad whenever someone brings up this topic, because it points out the silliness of affirmative action and most arguments about diversity. America has a wide diversity of people: many races, many religions, two genders, fifty state populations, all ages from 0 to past 100.

We also have many institutions that hire people based on merit. Universities hire smart people to teach science, math, history, and so forth. Professional sports teams hire people based on strength, speed, and so forth. The military hires people based partially on strength as well as brains and other things. Hollywood studios hire actors based partially on how good looking they are. Hospitals look for doctors who have both brains and social skills, “bedside manner”, etc…

There is no inherent reason to believe that any measure of merit will be distributed with exact equality among every race, every age, both genders, etc… In other words, if employers hire based on merit, they won’t get a demographic mix that exactly matches the population of the country. There’s no reason to expect that any employer should get such a demographic mix, even if their hiring practices are completely fair. If an employer gets a disproportionate share of any race, or gender, or age group, it is not evidence of unfair discrimination. That why most complaints about hiring discrimination are bogus, and why affirmative action does no good.

Why are you targeting the NFL? Isn’t the NBA where the real injustice is?

The solution to injustice is not more injustice. If the Motion Picture Academy is discriminating against blacks, that should end. The NFL should not start discriminating against blacks.


we can add them to the discssion

We just did this 2 months ago. Is there a compelling interest for race-based diversity in sports?

Even ignoring the sloppiness of your numbers: so? You seem to be misunderstanding the purpose of affirmative action. It isn’t to guarantee that every job has representation equal to groups’ share of the general population. It’s to compensate for historical - or current - factors which are disadvantaging certain groups and preventing them from having the same opportunities as more advantaged groups. That isn’t happening here, or at least you haven’t demonstrated it.

Your numbers are way off. 77.4% of the American population is white. And 27.7% of NFL players are white. (These are both 2014 figures.)

You want conservatives to agree to AA right? Are they going to like it? are they going to “accept” it? No. Well, probably not most of them. The only fact that is indisputable in the AA and college/employment issue is that there is/was unequal enrollment as compared to the population at large.

That is the one indisputable fact/factor… unequal representation.

I think that things should be consistent. If you want AA in one category you need it in other areas as well.

correct, and if I understand the Oscar dust up correctly, the allegation is the old white guys who make up the majority of votes for the Academy Awards don’t bother to see most of the films with black stars, and don’t give them due consideration even if they do watch them. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t, but I think the protest movement has certainly started a useful conversation that is bound to raise the consciousness of many of the voters and bring about a fairer selection in future years.

I don’t see what is being suggested “seriously” by the OP for the NFL to be anything like that.

I didn’t know that 77.4 percent of the population was white. I’ll take your word for it.

27% of NFL players may be white but 27% of the starting players are not white. You generally have the Quarterback, the field goal kicker, the punter, and maybe a couple of offensive or defensive linemen.

… I hardly ever look on the playing field and see 1 out of every 4 players is white…

I meant that I actually want to have a discussion

To be clear:

I fully support AA for minorities in work and education. I fully accept that they come from a disadvantaged background. This is not an attempt by me to deny that at all.

No, that’s not true. Using affirmative action to compensate for historical or currents factors and give everyone an equal shot at employment or college or whatever may have been the initial reason why affirmative action was created, and the primary defense in the early days.

But not anymore. Today, the stated legal justification for affirmative action is that a racially diverse group of students, for instance, is inherently better than a non-diverse group. This is what the Supreme Court majority said in their decision in Grutter vs. Bollinger. The University of Michigan cited a “compelling interest in achieving diversity among its student body”; the Supreme Court agreed.

Okay, my contribution to the discussion.

I don’t think anyone has claimed that the NFL teams discriminate against white players. People do complain that there is racial discrimination in other places, like colleges, workplaces, and selection for subjective awards (best actor, for example). Another advantage to Affirmative Action to white guys like me (even the the absence of discrimination) is we get to attend more diverse classrooms and job sites, adding to our experience in many ways.

Now, perhaps there are systematic constraints that reduce the professional football opportunities to white people. If you are really concerned about this “problem,” you can work on that.

This is why I said I was serious.

I actually am serious about this. The question is a matter of consistency, not moral or political or even philosophical. Consistency. That is the only point I am making.

If it is good for an imbalance in one area it is good for an imbalance in another.

You’re looking for the wrong kind of consistency. Being consistent would mean looking for solutions when there is a need for more diversity (classrooms, for example) or an unfair barrier caused by race (admissions, employment, etc). The NFL, as far as I can tell, doesn’t suffer from any of these issues and thus, to be consistent, is in no need of a “solution” in the absence of a problem.

If you want to say well the NFL doesn’t care whether a a linebacker is black or white, they are going to hire the best person… ok, I think that is a true statement.

I’m not sure I’ve changed my mind but I can’t say I totally disagree with you either.