Stephen A. Smith views Commanders’ Kliff Kingsbury hiring in a racial spectrum: “doesn’t happen for Black folks”

Amidst weeks of speculation, Kliff Kingsbury’s anticipated move to the Las Vegas Raiders as their offensive coordinator became official, only to unravel within a few hours. After receiving a more enticing offer from the Washington Commanders, he seized the opportunity to become their offensive coordinator, turning down the Raiders in the process.

The abrupt turn of events left many NFL fans bewildered. Even prominent Dallas Cowboys critic, Stephen A. Smith voiced his reservations, expressing concerns about the Commanders’ decision to bring in the former Raiders’ offensive coordinator.

Stephen A. Smith questions Kliff Kingsbury’s coaching pedigree

Stephen A. Smith has ignited discussions surrounding the racial dimensions surrounding Kliff Kingsbury’s recent appointment as the offensive coordinator for the Commanders. In a segment on ESPN’s ‘First Take,’ Smith shared his reservations, raising the question of whether Kingsbury’s hiring might be influenced by racial factors.

Smith delved into the broader historical perspective, suggesting that Kingsbury’s ease in securing high-profile coaching roles could be attributed to his skin color. The analyst, in this case, put forward the rarity of such opportunities for black individuals like Eric Bieniemy.

“We talk about diversity, and 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? This is the kind of stuff that doesn’t happen for black folks,” Smith said.

Smith feels that Kingsbury would have been better served staying in college football, where he had established himself as a well-liked offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, despite his qualifications. Smith argues that promoting someone from a previous head coaching role in the NFL to the position of offensive coordinator appears unwarranted.

Kingsbury’s NFL track record

Kliff Kingsbury’s journey in the NFL predominantly revolved around the Arizona Cardinals, where he assumed the role of head coach from 2019 to 2022.

Throughout his lone NFL coaching career, he led the Cardinals team to the playoffs in the 2021 season. During this season, the Cardinals demonstrated offensive prowess, securing the 11th spot in scoring.

They had a 10-2 record at the beginning of the season, but they ended the regular season with an unexpected decline, finishing at 11-6. Under his guidance, they experienced a significant defeat in the wild-card round.

Unfortunately, his time with the Cardinals came to an abrupt end when he was relieved of his duties on January 9, 2023, per Pro Football History. The decision to part ways with Kingsbury followed a challenging season that saw the Cardinals finish with a 4-13 record. It also prompted changes within the coaching staff and the management.

Over the course of his four-season tenure, the former Cardinals’ head coach guided the Cardinals through various challenges, amassing a record of 28 wins, 37 losses, and 1 tie, with one playoff appearance to his credit.

What’s your take on Smith’s comment regarding Kingsbury’s hiring?

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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