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Whitlock: Texans coach Lovie Smith latest black victim of diversity, inclusion, and equity cult

Shotgun marriages don’t work, especially in modern America. We have too many options, too much easily accessible temptation to stick with a marriage we don’t believe in.

Ask the Houston Texans. Yesterday, they ended their second straight shotgun marriage hours after completing the regular season, divorcing themselves from head coach Lovie Smith less than a year after hiring him.

When you’re a billionaire, it’s not cheaper to keep her.

The NFL makes all of its employees sign a prenuptial agreement, a contract that limits the divorce settlement. Cal McNair, the owner of the Texans, would rather cut Smith a $15 to $20 million check than continue in a relationship he doesn’t believe has a real future. The Texans did the exact same thing a year ago, when they decided to annul their marriage to David Culley, another coach they wed quickly with no real conviction.

This is the consequence of the racial politics that corporate media foisted upon the NFL and that the league office adopted without pushback. Neither Smith nor Culley got the Houston job because management believed they were the best candidate. Smith and Culley were chosen largely because of their skin color, pressure from Roger Goodell and his top lieutenant, Troy Vincent, and the NFL’s desire to avoid being called racist over its treatment of black coaches.

Houston was guilt-tripped into hiring Smith and Culley. Guilt can get a man the job, but it won’t allow him to keep that job. You think Cal McNair feels sorry for Smith and Culley after cutting multi-million-dollar severance checks? No way. McNair feels like he did Smith and Culley favors. He did.

Culley was a career-long NFL assistant. He was 66 when he landed his first head coaching job. The longtime receivers coach was working as the passing game coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens when the Texans gave him the job.

Passing game coordinator for Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens? That’s like becoming the CEO of Weight Watchers after being the vegetables coordinator for Lizzo.

No, the Texans gifted Culley the job. Everybody knew it, including the players in the Houston locker room. A football locker room is where false narratives die. Things that sound good on Twitter or during a woke ESPN rant often sound like hot garbage in a locker room where players just want to win games, and they don’t really care about the color of their head coach.

Culley inspired no one. The Texans went 4-13 last year. Culley offered no unique strategic advantage or leadership.

Years ago, Lovie Smith offered a unique strategic advantage and impactful leadership. He was an expert at Tony Dungy’s Tampa 2 defense, and Smith mimicked the quiet strength and poise of his mentor. Smith had a strong, nine-year run with the Chicago Bears, winning three division titles and one NFC championship.

He parlayed that into a two-year stint in Tampa and five seasons at the University of Illinois. His last winning season as a head coach was a decade ago in 2012 — his final season in Chicago.

Lovie is 64 now. He’s lost his magic. The Texans hired him to satisfy the race-baiters in the media. It’s a recipe for failure.

You can’t lead 60 men in a locker room when everyone knows you got hired because Roger Goodell, Troy Vincent, and ESPN talking heads forced ownership to hire you.

Guilt and racial idolatry are powerful forces on Twitter. The same woke players tweeting out “Black Lives Matter” act completely differently inside a locker room. They want to be led by dynamic coaches of any color.

The media race-baiters have emasculated black coaches. They’ve turned them all into sympathy hires. Everyone, including the black players, is suspicious of a black head coach’s qualifications and competence. That’s the consequence of the pervasive diversity, equity, and inclusion movement. It’s 10 times more damaging than affirmative action. That’s why I call it D.I.E. It’s the death of black male excellence.

D.I.E. will not produce more successful black head coaches or leaders in other industries. D.I.E. creates figurehead jobs for black and white women and members of the LGBTQ community. If it doesn’t already, every NFL and NBA franchise will have a woman or gay person running its diversity, inclusion, and equity group.

That’s the real endgame to all of this insanity. It has nothing to do with producing successful leadership of heterosexual black men. It’s going to produce more shotgun marriages headed for failure. It’s going to produce more young black men who feel like they’re owed an opportunity rather than young men looking to create opportunities for themselves.

NFL ownership doesn’t have a problem with the color of Brian Flores’ skin. It has a problem with his attitude and the attitude of a generation of young people who feel entitled. The world doesn’t owe men — regardless of color — anything.

Victims are not leaders. The people trying to shame employers into a job are not leaders. They’re cowards.

If Lovie Smith is a victim of anything, it’s the perception created by the diversity, inclusion, and equity proponents that black men as weak and unqualified.

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