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With Three Black Head Coaches in the AFC North, Baltimore Ravens are being accused of racism

The Cleveland Browns hiring Hue Jackson means that three out of four teams in the AFC North have a black head coach. Apparently that means the Ravens are racist according to some Twitter users.

Patrick McDermott
Patrick McDermott
Getty Images

With the Cleveland Browns hiring Hue Jackson as their head coach, the AFC North now has three African American coaches in the division at the same time. These teams include the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, a feat that hasn't been seen since Romeo Crennel was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns way back in 2005-2008.

That leaves the Baltimore Ravens as the only team in the division without a black head coach as John Harbaugh has held the position since 2008. Oddly enough, it's causing people on twitter to actually accuse the Ravens of racism. Words don’t describe how ignorant those people are. I would call them something else, but that isn’t professional in this setting.

Out of all the teams in not only the NFL, but in professional sports, for people to call the Baltimore Ravens organization racist is laughable to no end.

Let’s start off with the fact that Ravens have general manager Ozzie Newsome at the helm who is not only regarded as the best general manager by many in NFL circles over the last 20 seasons, but is also the first black general manager in NFL history. He was officially given the general manager title in 2002 but has been operating as the main personnel decision maker for the franchise since they arrived in Baltimore in 1996.

Second, when you think about the Ravens as a franchise, you know them as one of the elite organizations in the NFL over the last 20 seasons with two super bowl trophies and 15 playoff wins (only second to the Patriots with 21 playoff wins) during that time. The Ravens have also had very notable African American assistant coaches who have went on to become head coaches.

Marvin Lewis

Marvin Lewis, as mentioned, is the head coach of the Bengals. Lewis was originally the defensive coordinator for the Ravens from 1996-2001 and played a big role in forming arguably the greatest defense in NFL history when the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000. The 2000 Ravens defense set the following NFL records:

  • least points allowed in a 16 game season (165)
  • tied for most shutouts in a 16 game season (four)
  • set NFL record for least rushing yards in a season (970)
  • first defense in NFL history to allow under 200 points in 20 games  as a unit  (174)
The most impressive part about the 2000 Ravens defense was probably the fact that the Ravens offense went five straight games without scoring a touchdown, but still won it all.

Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary was the Ravens linebackers coach from 2003-2004 helping tutor an already great linebacker in Ray Lewis at the time. Singletary would go to be hired as  a head coach for the San Francisco 49ers from 2008-2010.

Hue Jackson

Hue Jackson is now the new head coach for the Browns, but like Marvin Lewis, he was also part of the Ravens organization once upon a time. Jackson was the Ravens quarterbacks coach in Joe Flacco's first-two years in the league in the 2008 and 2009 seasons until Jackson was hired by the Oakland Raiders in 2010 to be a head coach.

Jackson is now a head coach for the Browns as we all know, and he has recently credited Harbaugh for the opportunity he has right now.

Jim Caldwell

Jim Caldwell was hired by the Ravens in 2012 to be the team's quarterbacks coach after being fired by the Indianapolis Colts. Caldwell, during the 2012 season, would be called upon by the Ravens to be the team's offensive coordinator after Cam Cameron was fired after holding the coordinator position for five seasons with the team.

Caldwell's gameplan and approach would help the Ravens go on to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history. Caldwell's success with the Ravens would eventually lead him to be a head coaching position once again as he was hired by the Detroit Lions during the 2014 offseason.


From the looks of things, four black assistant coaches for the Ravens have gone on to be head coaches in the last 15 years. Given the struggle for diversity within the NFL overall with African American coaches, I think it is fair to say that not too many teams have produced the amount of African American head coaches the way the Ravens have in recent years.

Look, no one has to tell me about racism and how much it exist in this society. But someone would have to be a special kind of ignorant to be kind to throw racism accusations in the direction of the Ravens organization. I would go as far as saying that the Ravens organization is the last organization in all of professional sports that should be accused of being racist.