Black Monday is a perverse term. It describes the day following the conclusion of the NFL season, when owners traditionally fire their teams’ coaches.
And with six more head coaches getting dumped in this season’s wake, joining two mid-season firings, Sean Payton has every right to be offended. Payton has been coaching the New Orleans Saints since 2006; he’s now the second-longest tenured coach active in the NFL, behind New England’s Bill Belichick. Payton believes it’s crass for the media, particularly the league-owned NFL Network, to publicize the firings as Black Monday.
This year is even worse because five of the eight fired coaches are black, leaving only three men of colour as NFL head coaches. For a league that prides itself in promoting minority hirings, even implementing the Rooney Rule to make sure franchises interview at least one minority candidate for important jobs, it’s a horrible double entendre. Coaches know they’re hired to be fired. They realize their careers can be extremely short, but there’s no reason for their firings to be turned into a marketing campaign.