Stephen A. Smith has expressed discontent with the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury as the offensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders and has linked his concerns to issues of race.
According to Smith, the appointment of Kingsbury by the Commanders, who recently secured former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, exemplifies the type of opportunity that, in his view, is not typically extended to Black individuals.
“I challenge anybody in football to tell me I’m wrong about this: this man is more known for his relationships with quarterbacks and that stylish home he showcased during the NFL Draft than he is for winning football games. That is a fact. It cannot be disputed,” asserted Smith.
Smith also suggested that when examining diversity in coaching hires, he is not focused on recent opportunities for Black coaches but rather emphasizes a historical perspective. He stated, “When we talk about diversity, we certainly saw Black coaches getting hired and all that other stuff, that’s not where I’m going. I’m saying from a historical perspective, we look at a guy like Kliff Kingsbury and you know what we see as Black folks? ‘Ah, see, this is the kinda stuff that don’t happen for Black folks’.”
It’s worth noting that Smith’s assessment of Kingsbury’s reputation isn’t entirely accurate. Kingsbury is well-known for his tenure as the head coach at Texas Tech University, particularly during the years when Patrick Mahomes played there, contributing to Mahomes’ development into a first-round NFL pick.
Having served as the head coach of Texas Tech from 2013 to 2018 and the Arizona Cardinals from 2019 to 2022, the 44-year-old former NFL quarterback spent 2023 as a “Senior Offensive Analyst” for the University of Southern California Trojans football team.