Stephen A. Smith on Rams Hiring 30-Year-Old Coach: ‘No Way in Hell an African American’ Gets That Opportunity


While the the now-Los Angeles Chargers and their move from San Diego were the talk of the NFL on Thursday, LA’s other football team made a bit of league history. The Rams hired Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay to be their new head coach. At all of 30 years old, McVay is now the youngest man ever to get a head coaching job in the NFL.

On First Take Friday, Stephen A. Smith questioned why McVay got the job so young — given that, in Smith’s opinion, McVay’s body of work with the Redskins was not off-the-charts good. He also stated his belief that an African American coach would not have been offered the same opportunity.

“(B)y and large, you see these opportunities, you know there’s no way in hell an African-American’s gonna get an opportunity like this.” Smith said. “It’s just something that doesn’t really, really happen very often.

“And a lot of white guys ain’t getting an opportunity like this. So it just reeks of who you know, who you’re comfortable with, how you were able to ingratiate yourself with them, as opposed to your legit qualifications.”

Smith mentioned Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who is African American and was hired at age 34. But he said that case was different because the Steelers have a long history of success hiring coaches in their 30s, which the Rams don’t.

Smith’s issue with the McVay hire was mostly that he didn’t have sterling credentials, having spent three years as the offensive coordinator in Washington — directing a unit that was good, but never great.

“He’s 30 years old,” Smith said. “I don’t see a resume that’s that profound that warrants taking a chance on a 30 year old. I don’t see that.”

Watch above, via ESPN.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo