Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fritz Pollard Alliance Awards

The Fritz Pollard Alliance has long sought to improve diversity in sports. These efforts led to the adoption of the Rooney Rule by the NFL. Most in the media don't really think that Rooney Rule has done enough. It's a hot button topic for them. They've been in an uproar since none of the eight head coaching vacancies since the end of the past season went to a minority. Despite the legions of vocal critics of the league's diversity issues I'm stunned by the complete lack of coverage of the Fritz Pollard Awards Banquet that was held last Thursday in New Orleans. I sure didn't know that it had taken place. I learned about it while listening to a radio interview of Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier on Monday. The interview was actually set up to talk to Frazier about all the awards that Adrian Peterson had just won for his amazing performance during the 2012 season. It just happened to come up during the interview that Frazier and Vikings Vice President of Legal Affairs Kevin Warren were recipients of Fritz Pollard Alliance "Salute to Excellence" awards. There was such a media void concerning this event that I had difficulties even finding it with a Google search. The only mention that I could find was on Mike Wobschall's blog at the Vikings website. The "Salute to Excellence" award recognizes the outstanding performance of minority NFL head coaches and executives, collegiate coaches and high school seniors during the current season. To quote Wobschall: "This recognition is particularly extraordinary as it highlights the tremendous efforts and sacrifices made by current and previous honorees that will lead to even greater opportunities for minorities seeking advancement opportunities." You'd think that the media would be supportive of something like that. I just don't get it. The media is so quick to attack the NFL for not hiring minorities yet they don't even take the time or effort to cover a significant event to honor minorities in the sport. If the media truly cared about this situation, news of this event wouldn't have been so hard to find. They'd cover events that promote and honor the efforts of minorities. They'd actually play a constructive role.

Congratulations to Leslie Frazier and Kevin Warren. Keep up the great work in advancing the opportunities of minorities. I wish that I could congratulate the other honorees but I couldn't find them anywhere.

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