LATINO FLORES FLOGS MEDIA FOR DOUBLE STANDARD: There aren’t many breathing humans who don’t know that the recent Super Bowl featured two Black head coaches. And it’s safe to say that virtually every media report included, and celebrated, that fact.
But for the record, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith were not the first minority head coaches in the Super Bowl. And they weren’t even close.
The 1981 Super Bowl-winning Oakland Raiders were coached by Tom Flores and quarterbacked by Jim Plunkett, who are both Latinos. But go back and check the press clipppings from that game and you’ll find nary a word about it.
Dave Smith of Sporting News Radio raised the topic today on his syndicated midday show, and had Flores on as a guest. And with the over-the-top coverage of Dungy and Smith the last two weeks still fresh in his mind, the former Raiders coach wasn’t shy about noting the double standard.
Flores discussed his experience as a Super Bowl coach in 1981, and his reaction to the difference in media coverage, despite the similar circumstances: “Nobody made any mention of it. Everyone was talking about (Philadelphia coach) Dick Vermeil at that time. My name was on the backshelf that week.
“(At the Super Bowl in Miami) They weren’t talking about minorities, they were talking about Black americans. I was the first Hispanic quarterback, head coach, president and general manager but none of that seems to be that important in today’s (social) climate.
“I can’t talk about it that much because it would be considered in poor taste or taken the wrong way. Now it’s finally getting some attention, only because there’s guilt involved (with the media). Well maybe it’ll end up on my tombstone (laughing).”
Flores also noted that Mexican-American Jim Plunkett, who quarterbacked the Raiders to a 1981 Super Bowl win, was completely ignored for his achievement: “That was two guys in the same Super Bowl, you would thought more people would’ve noticed. Someone should’ve taken it and gone with it, but nobody did.”
Finally Flores, who also went on to lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in 1984 and currently is a broadcaster for the club, addressed his strange absence from serious Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration: “Some of the (voters - all media members) are so outdated and out of touch.
“The Hall of Fame, the players, should have some voice, along with the sportswriters and the league. It has to be changed. It’s not fair. For Art Monk not to be in there and Michael Irvin is, that’s a joke, that’s not right.”